Japan Ready to Approve COVID-19 Vaccines, Following Britain

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is ready to approve COVID-19 vaccines, a senior official suggested Wednesday, following news that Britain has approved a vaccine jointly developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc. and Germany's BioNTech.

"If an application for approval (for a COVID-19 vaccine) is filed (in Japan), we'll approve it after confirming the efficacy and safety," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a press conference.

"We're waiting for action by (vaccine) developers," the top government spokesman said. "We'll keep in touch with the makers."

The Japanese government has concluded contracts with three U.S. and British drugmakers to secure enough COVID-19 vaccines for 145 million people or more. It plans to allow medical workers and elderly people to get vaccinated first.

Once makers file for approval for potential vaccines, the health ministry is expected swiftly to examine and approve the applications for urgent imports of the vaccines.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press