Pfizer files request for Japan COVID-19 vaccine approval in Japan


U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc on Friday requested Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approve its novel coronavirus vaccine. This will make it the primary drug maker to file such an invitation within the country.

If approved, vaccination could begin as early as March. Japan has already agreed with Pfizer to receive a supply of 120 million vaccine doses. This will be enough for 60 million people or roughly half the population.

“If we win approval, we might wish to ensure a quick delivery of our vaccine to people in Japan and play a component in normalizing their social life,” Akihisa Harada, president of the Japan unit of Pfizer said.

The government plans to ask municipalities to organize venues and medical institutions to conduct vaccinations, and make systems available for accepting reservations.

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The US and Britain is already beginning administering the coronavirus vaccine by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE. It is likely that Singapore and a few other countries will imitate.

But concerns remain over its safety as local U.S. authorities said Wednesday a health care worker in Alaska suffered a significant hypersensitive reaction to the vaccine. In Britain, there are reports of similar hypersensitive reactions from two health care workers.

Other drugmakers such as Shionogi, Johnson & Johnson and startup Anges among them are conducting COVID-19 vaccine trials in Japan.

Earlier within the month, Japan’s parliament enacted a law to hide the vaccination prices. Also, a recent resurgence in infections demonstrating the importance of the inoculations.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will come in batches of 1,000 doses via delivery. However, they have to be stored at minus 75 C or lower and to be administered in 10 days.


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