Japan, AstraZeneca agree on 120 million doses of coronavirus vaccine
TOKYO — The government has reached a supply deal with British drugmaker giant AstraZeneca PLC for 120 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference Friday that Japan is to receive the vaccine from early next year, with 30 million doses to be supplied by March, should AstraZeneca succeed in developing the drug.
AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford, is in the final stages of clinical trials and is aiming to commercialize the vaccine in September.
The company will begin clinical trials in Japan this month to confirm the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine when it is administered to Japanese, he said.
The firm has yet to decide whether the vaccine will be administered once or twice per person. The vaccine supply is equivalent to at least 60 million people.
“We will continue to discuss with other vaccine manufacturers as well,” Kato said at the press conference.
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