Taro Kono, the minister in charge of vaccinations, said on a Japanese TV talk show on Sunday that the two sides had “practically reached an agreement” on vaccines.
Japanese officials said on Sunday that Suga has asked Burla for additional supplies that will cover all eligible beneficiaries by September, in addition to ensuring stable and prompt delivery of ongoing vaccine shipments. No details were disclosed.
According to the officials, Burla told Suga that Pfizer plans to closely coordinate with the Japanese government to discuss the requests.
Japan, with the development of a domestic vaccine still in its early stages, has to rely on imports and has signed agreements with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved by Japan so far.
The Japanese government says it has received 314 million doses, enough to cover its entire population by the end of this year. Includes 144 million doses of Pfizer.
Vaccinations began in mid-February and covered less than 1% of the population. The slow process is being hampered by a vaccine shortage amid EU export controls.
Kono said that shipments of the vaccine are expected to pick up speed starting in May. To address concerns about the shortage of medical personnel administering vaccinations, the government recently revised a law to appoint retired nurses or on leave to help temporarily with vaccinations.
The rising number of cases has led the government to issue an alert to Tokyo and nine other metropolitan counties. It also raised doubts about whether or how it happened July 23 – August. 8 Tokyo Olympics can continue.
Japan added 4,532 cases on Saturday, for a total of 525,218 since the start of the epidemic, with 9,584 deaths.
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