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Japan gives final OK to Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine

Christian Fernsby |
TheJapan government has approved its first vaccine, kick-starting a massive rollout program for the nation of 126 million people.

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Topics: JAPAN    PFIZER   

Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine got the final OK for emergency use on Sunday from health minister Norihisa Tamura, two days after a government committee gave the shot its seal of approval, paving the way for inoculations to start as early as Wednesday.

Vaccine approvals usually take a year or two, but the government shortened the review period to less than two months, scrapping the requirement for large, third phase clinical trials in Japan amid the mounting toll of the pandemic.

The first shipments of Pfizer’s vaccines arrived at Narita International Airport from Brussels on Friday, carrying vials for around 400,000 shots, according to Kyodo News. Japan has signed a contract to receive 144 million of Pfizer’s vaccines, enough to inoculate 72 million people, by the end of 2021.

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