Nikkei gave top play to UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca’s plan to have several Japanese partners, including a Kobe-based bio firm, mass-produce its COVID-19 vaccine for Japanese citizens, saying that some 90 million doses, or three-quarters of the volume that AstraZeneca has promised to deliver to Japan this year, will be manufactured here. The UK drug company is expected to file an application with the Health Ministry soon for the domestic production and sale of the vaccine with the goal of rolling it out in May at the earliest. The GOJ is reportedly expecting that the remaining 30 million doses of the vaccine will be shipped to Japan by March. However, as many countries are intensely vying for COVID-19 vaccines due to shortfalls in production and the EU is planning to limit exports of those assembled in the zone, concern is growing that AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna might not be able to fulfill their supply contracts with the GOJ. The daily added that it may be premature to assume that the AstraZeneca’s domestic production will definitely begin in May as planned. Other papers ran similar reports.