Japan to donate millions more AstraZeneca vaccines across Asia

Japan will donate 1 million coronavirus vaccine shots each to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand starting next week, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday.

Tokyo will also offer 1 million shots each to Taiwan and Vietnam, in addition to the batches of 1.24 million and 1 million shots it provided them, respectively, earlier in the month, Motegi told a regular press conference.

The decision to provide from July 1 the vaccine developed by Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc and produced under license in Japan came after requests were made from the countries and Taiwan.

Photo shows bottles of COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford. (Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca)(Kyodo)

Separately, Japan will provide from mid-July a total of about 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to countries in Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and the Pacific islands through the U.N.-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program, Motegi said.

While Japan has secured enough AstraZeneca vaccines for 60 million people and approved their use last month, it does not intend to use them immediately in public inoculation programs due to rare cases of blood clots reported overseas.




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