TOKYO (Kyodo) – Japan formally approved Pfizer Inc. coronavirus vaccine. on Sunday, the first green space for domestic use, clearing the way for the country to start health workers in a matter of days.
The swift approval by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is a major step forward in the country ‘s efforts to bring the pandemic under control.
It comes at a time when there is widespread public dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s response to the public health crisis and when it is less than six months to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE have reported that data from late-stage clinical trials showed the vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 symptoms.
Japan received consignments of about 400,000 doses from the Pfizer factory in Belgium on Friday, the same day a health ministry panel said they had no problem approving the vaccine for use on people aged 16 or older. Two photographs will be presented three weeks apart.
The first line to be included includes around 20,000 doctors and nurses who have agreed to take part in a study to find out about possible side effects and their frequency. happens. Vaccinations are expected to begin Wednesday at a medical facility in Tokyo before expanding elsewhere.
Another 3.7 million facial health workers start receiving the vaccine in March, followed by 36 million people aged 65 and over from April at the earliest.
People with preexisting illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease and those who work at care facilities for the elderly come, then, finally, the general population.
Circulating the Pfizer vaccine across the country comes with a number of supply challenges. It must be stored in ultracold freezers at about minus 75 C, and once removed kept in refrigerated and used within five days.
The government’s chief spokesman, Cabinet Secretary-General Katsunobu Kato, said at a press conference on Sunday that the widespread quake did not affect a powerful earthquake that hit the earthquake of northeastern Japan the night before.
The Ministry of Health is urging local governments, which have a duty to deliver views, not to carry doses using motorcycles or bicycles, as any effect could affect the effectiveness of the operation. vaccine.
In addition to Pfizer, Japan has agreements with AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc. to obtain sufficient doses for the population of 126 million.
Successful management of the coronavirus is crucial for Suga, who is opposed to criticism for waiting too long to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions as well as allegations that it has won and failed. His eldest son got government officials who were in a position to license the satellite broadcasting company for which he works.
A Kyodo News poll this month showed the approval rate for the Suga Cabinet fell by 38.8 percent, down from 66.4 percent when it launched in September.
Pfizer applied for a quick approval of its vaccine in mid-December on the basis that it was already locked up and administered overseas including the United States.
Clinical trials conducted abroad of approximately 43,000 people showed that those who received the vaccine were 95 percent, or twenty times, less likely to receive COVID-19 than those in a control group who did not. The drug dealer also tested the vaccine on 160 people in Japan.