Japan to ship millions more COVID-19 vaccines to PH, Asian neighbors this week | Global News
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Japan to ship millions more COVID-19 vaccines to PH, Asian neighbors this week

/ 03:52 PM July 06, 2021
astrazeneca vaccine

 A medical worker administers a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to a woman during a vaccination session for elderly people over 75 years old, at a stadium in New Taipei City, Taiwan June 25, 2021. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

TOKYO — Japan said on Tuesday it would ship millions more doses of AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine to Asian neighbors this week as a continuation of bilateral donations.

Japan will send 1.13 million more doses to Taiwan on Thursday, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters at a regular press conference, after previously delivering 1.24 million doses last month.

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A further 1 million doses each will be sent to Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam this week, following earlier donations to Indonesia and Malaysia, Motegi said.

“True friends always lend a hand when they need each other the most,” Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang wrote on his Facebook page.

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In further good news for Taiwan’s vaccine program, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters in Taipei that 620,000 additional AstraZeneca doses would arrive on Wednesday, part of the government’s direct order from the company.

Japan has arranged to buy 120 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, with most of that supply produced by domestic companies. Regulators approved the shot in May, but amid lingering concerns about blood clots, health authorities have relied on the mRNA-type vaccines made by Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc in Japan’s inoculation push.

Japan has pledged $1 billion and 30 million doses to the global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX, but so far its donations have been outside of that program.

AstraZeneca doses produced in Japan have not yet been approved by the World Health Organization for use in COVAX, Motegi said, so the country has turned to bilateral deals to respond to “urgent requests for vaccine supplies.”

Japan’s first shipments through the COVAX facility are expected in the middle of this month, with some 11 million doses bound for nations in south Asia and the Pacific islands, Motegi said.

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TAGS: Asia, COVID-19 vaccines, Global Nation, Japan, Philippines
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