Cape Town – The Japanese government has negotiated with US pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. to obtain an urgent supply of the Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine for 72 million people this year, the ministry of health said on Wednesday.
The deal secures doses for a further 12 million citizens after Japan negotiated with the drug producer last year to collect doses for 60 million people, or nearly half of its 126 million citizens.
According to the Metropolitan Government, Tokyo reported 1,274 new cases of the novel Coronavirus, taking the capital’s cumulative total to 89,188.
Two weeks after the State of Emergency was implemented for the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, the pandemic showed no sign of abating despite the government’s call for citizens to remain at home.
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that his government is planning vaccines to begin at the end of February.
The Pfizer vaccine, the only vaccine currently under consideration by the ministry of health, is likely to be authorised on 15 February when the ministry holds a panel meeting.
At present, The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine currently under consideration by the ministry. The availability of vaccines relies on the government’s approval.
“We will be able to finally begin vaccinations now that a contract has been agreed upon, we requested as much vaccine supply as possible by the end of the first half of the year,” said health minister Norihisa Tamura according to Kyodo news.
In Japan, the ministry of health is preparing to publish the findings of a clinical trial in Japan, affecting approximately 160 individuals this month.
The medical system has been under tremendous pressure, and the Tokyo government has recently confirmed multiple deaths of Covid-19 patients recovering at home.