TOKYO: The Japanese arm of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. said Friday that it has asked Japan’s health ministry to approve its COVID-19 vaccine.
It is the first application in Japan for regulatory approval of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
The move raises the possibility of vaccination starting as early as March next year.
The vaccine, jointly developed by Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech SE, is already being administered in countries such as the United States and Britain after receiving emergency use authorization.
“Once the application arrives, we will make a decision by examining its efficacy and safety,” health minister Norihisa Tamura said at a press conference the same day.