By Ichikawa Chiharu
Tokyo Shimbun learned on May 20 the Japanese government will release a new strategy to boost development and production of a domestic COVID-19 vaccine at the “vaccine summit” to be held on June 2. Japan lags behind the U.S. and European countries in vaccine development. The strategy will include the development of a framework for the swift implementation of late-stage clinical trials, which require several tens of thousands of participants, jointly with Asian countries. The strategy includes the establishment of a new fund to quickly allocate research funds in times of a pandemic.
The new strategy, “a proposal on enhancing vaccine development and the production system,” was formulated by the “pharmaceutical development council,” which was set up under the government’s Headquarters for Healthcare Policy. A Cabinet decision on the strategy is expected upon approval of the ruling parties. (Abridged)