Japan in Talks with Moderna for Supply of 40M Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

TOKYO/MASSACHUSETTS – Moderna, Inc. on Friday confirmed it was in talks with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (MHLW) to potentially supply 40 million or more doses of mRNA-1273, the U.S. biotechnology company’s vaccine candidate against the new coronavirus.

The vaccine, enough to cover 20 million people, would be supplied by Moderna, Inc. and distributed in Japan by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. beginning in the first half of 2021, “if the vaccine receives regulatory approval.”

According to Moderna, this is “to support Japan’s aim of providing vaccines to the public as soon as possible.”

Japan's Health Minister Kato Katsunobu announced the discussions in a press conference on Aug. 28.

The MHLW has already reached an agreement with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE for the supply of a COVID-19 vaccine for 60 million people, and with British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC for 120 million doses.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to secure COVID-19 vaccinations for all citizens by the first half of 2021. - Florenda Corpuz