TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to speak with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla as early as Friday to request the delivery of 120 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2022.
Kishida wants to secure enough doses as Japan starts administering booster shots to prevent a potential resurgence of the coronavirus, particularly its more infectious omicron variant. The government and Pfizer already have a purchase agreement for the doses.
Kishida also wants to discuss purchasing Pfizer’s antiviral pills for COVID-19. Oral treatment is seen as crucial in the nation’s battle against the pandemic. Japan has already signed a supply contract with Merck for 1.6 million courses of its own pill.
This will be Kishida’s first telephone conversation with Bourla. Kishida’s predecessor, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, met with Bourla here in July and asked for speedier delivery of vaccine doses.