Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Izumisano, Osaka Pref., April 30 (Jiji Press)--A shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. biotechnology company Moderna Inc. arrived in Japan on Friday.

The vaccines are expected to be used at locations such as a mass inoculation site to be set up in central Tokyo by the Self-Defense Forces on May 24.

The shipment arrived aboard a Japan Airlines <9201> flight to Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, from Brussels.

The health ministry is expected to give fast-track emergency approval to the Moderna vaccine in May. "Once approved, we will set up a system for inoculations immediately," health minister Norihisa Tamura said at a press conference.

The Moderna vaccine can be stored for up to six months at temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius and for a month at plus 2 to 8 degrees. Pfizer Inc.'s vaccine, already available in Japan, needs to be kept at minus 60 degrees or even colder for long-term storage.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press