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Japan in Talks with Moderna for Supply of Coronavirus Vaccine

  • August 28, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 10:39 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Aug. 28 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s health ministry said Friday that it is negotiating with Moderna Inc. to get more than 40 million doses of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus from the U.S. biopharmaceutical firm as early as in the first half of 2021.

 

The vaccine, enough to cover 20 million people, is expected to be distributed and sold by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. <4502>.

 

Moderna is one of the U.S. drugmakers seeing the most progress in the development of novel coronavirus vaccines. If the ministry and Modern reach a deal, that would be a major step toward the Japanese government’s goal of securing vaccines for all citizens by the first half of 2021.

 

The ministry has already reached basic agreements with U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer Inc. for the supply of vaccines for 60 million people and with British drug giant AstraZeneca PLC for 120 million doses.

 

It remains to be seen whether AstraZeneca’s vaccine would require one or two doses per person, but the procured vaccines would cover 60 million people if two doses are required.

 

Despite having already secured vaccines for a total of at least 120 million people from the two firms, the Japanese government is seeking to prepare for an unexpected situation by agreeing a deal with Moderna.

 

The ministry is believed to be in talks with other drugmakers as well, as there is no assurance that vaccines will be successful even if they reach clinical trials, the final stage of development.

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