Japanese government announced yesterday the decision to allocate $6.3 billion (671.4 billion yen) to purchase 280 million doses of vaccines against the coronavirus disease. Japanese Health Minister Kato Katsunobu said this during a news conference in Tokyo.
“Following a cabinet meeting, Japan has decided to buy 120 million doses of a vaccine being developed by the U.S. pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, and another 120 million doses from the UK’s AstraZeneca.
“In addition, negotiations are underway to purchase another batch of 40 million doses from the U.S. Company Moderna,” Katsunobu said. All the three are conducting phase three clinical trials. The funds will be allocated from the country’s emergency budget reserves of 11.5 trillion yen, included in two packages of additional economic measures to combat the coronavirus.
The Health Minister said that “once the negotiations are over, we will try to provide everyone with the vaccine by the first half of next year.” Japan has so far confirmed 71,856 COVID-19 cases and 1,363 related fatalities, according to the World Health Organisation’s data.