Japan OKs Moderna, AstraZeneca Vaccines

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, May 21 (Jiji Press)--Japanese health minister Norihisa Tamura on Friday approved novel coronavirus vaccines developed respectively by U.S. biotechnology firm Moderna Inc. and British drug giant AstraZeneca PLC.

The approvals were given under a special fast-track procedure allowing simplified screenings in the event of emergencies.

The Moderna vaccine is slated to be used for people aged 18 or over.

The use of the AstraZeneca product will not start for the time being, following reports of blood clots occurring after the administration of the vaccine overseas although such cases have been very rare. A health ministry panel of experts concluded that data on symptoms of post-vaccination blood clots and methods to treat them need to be shared widely among medical workers and others.

The panel also sees a need to continue discussions on the AstraZeneca vaccine while watching developments abroad. Some countries have limited the use of the vaccine to certain age groups or fully suspended its use.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press