TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to ask Pfizer Inc. to move up the schedule of COVID-19 vaccine supply to the country, government sources said Thursday.
Suga is likely to make the request when he holds talks in person with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in Tokyo as early as Friday, the sources said.
The request is aimed at addressing vaccine shortages that have forced some Japanese municipalities to suspend vaccination appointments.
The meeting will also be joined by administrative reform minister Taro Kono, who is in charge of the country’s vaccination campaign.
The government has a contract in place to receive 194 million vaccine doses from the U.S. pharmaceutical giant this year.
Japan imported 100 million of them by the end of June. The country is scheduled to receive 70 million doses between July and September and 24 million doses between October and December.
Suga asked Bourla by phone to supply more vaccines to Japan during a trip to the United States in April.