Japan Panel OKs Moderna, AstraZeneca Vaccines

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Tokyo, May 20 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese health ministry advisory panel on Thursday recommended the approval of COVID-19 vaccines developed by U.S. biotechnology firm Moderna Inc. and British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC.

At a press conference, health minister Norihisa Tamura said that his ministry will approve the two vaccines for use in Japan as early as Friday, using fast-track procedures.

Currently, U.S. drug giant Pfizer Inc.'s vaccine is the only COVID-19 shot approved for use in Japan.

The approval of two more vaccines is expected to give a boost to the country's vaccination campaign as the government aims to complete vaccinations for elderly people by the end of July.

But there are concerns about possible confusion over differences among the three vaccines, such as inoculation intervals and storage methods.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press