Japan Govt OKs Pfizer's Novel Coronavirus Vaccine

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Tokyo, Feb. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry on Sunday approved major U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc.'s vaccine against the novel coronavirus, under a special simplified screening process used in times of emergency.

It is the first novel coronavirus vaccine approved in Japan. A relevant panel of the ministry on Friday gave its go-ahead to the plan to approve the vaccine under the special procedures.

The first batch of the Pfizer vaccine, believed to contain some 400,000 doses, arrived in Japan on Friday. Using the Pfizer product, vaccinations against the virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease in Japan are slated to start on Wednesday for the first group of medical workers.

The Pfizer vaccine is made by synthesizing part of the messenger RNA, which contains genetic information. Immunity will be acquired after proteins unique to the virus are created in the body after vaccinations.

In clinical trials by the company, the vaccine's efficacy rate came to 95 pct. A clinical trial conducted in Japan also confirmed its efficacy.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press