HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Japan

Japan signs deals for vaccine preorders four times the population

The move was lauded as local vaccines remain in Phase II stage.

Japan has signed multiple deals with multinational pharma firms to procure enough COVID-19 vaccine doses with pre-orders exceeding four times of its actual population, following a bill giving free vaccines to all its residents.

GlobalData lauded this move, viewing it as a wise strategy as the country’s local vaccines are still at Phase II stage of development, and some of the vaccines it signed for could fail in clinical trials or the vaccines may require more than one dose.

Based on the current clinical development, indigenous vaccines may not be available in the country at least until 2022, as it lags global-front runners with vaccines that are already approved in western nations, said GlobalData’s pharma analyst Bhavani Nelavelly.

“Considering the difficulty in vaccine development, Japan is using the strategic approach of getting vaccines from different companies, which allows complete vaccination of residents even if there are any development failures for domestic vaccines,” Nelavelly added.

Currently, there are 17 Japanese organizations, including Osaka University and National Institute of Infectious Diseases, working on COVID-19 vaccine development, and there are the two Japanese pharmas in Phase II stage of vaccine development.

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