Japan to get first batches of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from US

Japan to get first batches of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from US

FILE PHOTO: Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Antwerp
FILE PHOTO: Empty vials of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a vaccination centre in Antwerp, Belgium March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

TOKYO: Japan's first doses of AstraZeneca Plc's COVID-19 vaccine are coming from plants in the United States, the company said in an interview with the Asahi Newspaper.

The company had intended to import the undiluted vaccine from Europe until the imposition of export controls there, AstraZeneca's head of vaccines in Japan Tomoo Tanaka said in an interview published on Thursday (Apr 1).

Supplies of the vaccine will gradually shift to those made domestically by Japanese companies once regulatory approval is granted, expected in May, Tanaka said. He declined to say how much inventory of doses there are currently.

READ: Japan to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination pace in May, minister says

READ: AstraZeneca to produce 90 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in Japan: Government spokesman

Daiichi Sankyo Co said last month it had begun production of AstraZeneca's vaccine in Japan.

The Japanese government has arranged to buy 120 million doses of the vaccine, enough for 60 million people. Most of the doses will be made by Daiichi Sankyo, JCR Pharma and other local partners.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram​​​​​​

Source: Reuters/ta