Japan will donate around 1 million coronavirus vaccine doses each to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand from this week, the government said Tuesday.
Japan is set to fly batches of the vaccine developed by Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc to Malaysia and Indonesia on Thursday, while the Philippines and Thailand will receive their doses on July 8 and July 9, respectively.
Photo shows bottles of COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford. (Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca)(Kyodo)
The move brings the total number of countries and regions supplied by Japan to six, including Taiwan and Vietnam, which were respectively provided with batches of 1.24 million and 1 million doses earlier in June.
Tokyo, which will send a total of 1 million extra doses to Hanoi on Thursday and July 8, also plans to offer an additional 1 million to Taipei.
According to Japan’s Foreign Ministry, only around 6.5 percent and 4.9 percent of the populations of Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively, have been vaccinated. Both countries are currently experiencing a resurgence of cases.
Infections have also been increasing in the Philippines and Thailand, where the vaccination rates are around 2.5 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
Separately, Japan will provide from mid-July a total of about 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Pacific islands through the U.N.-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program.