TOKYO: Pfizer Inc. has agreed to supply Japan with 120 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of June next year, the Japanese health ministry said Friday.
The amount is enough to vaccinate 60 million people as the vaccine is designed to be administered twice.
The supply from the US pharmaceutical firm will “prevent the spread of the coronavirus and help reassure people,” health minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters.
“We’ll make continued efforts to provide safe and effective vaccines to Japanese people at an early date,” Kato said. He did not disclose the value of the deal with Pfizer.
Pfizer has been developing a vaccine in cooperation with a German biopharmaceutical company. A clinical trial of the vaccine entered a late stage in July.
If things continue to go well, Pfizer is likely to file for US regulatory approval as early as October.
If approved, the company plans to provide up to 100 million doses across the world by the end of 2020 and some 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
In order to use a vaccine in Japan, approval from the health ministry is necessary, even if it is approved in the United States.
The Japanese government has also been in talks with other foreign pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca PLC and Johnson & Johnson on vaccine supply while stepping up efforts to produce a vaccine domestically.