The Japanese government has agreed to purchase nearly 150 million doses of COVID-19 from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. The drug maker will be manufacturing the vaccine using the Novavax Inc’s formula. Takeda is making preparations to make the vaccine domestically and will be distributing it in early 2022. However the vaccine is waiting an approval from the regulators. At present the vaccine code-named as TAK-19 is undergoing clinical trials in Japan. The terms of the deal between the government and the drug maker are confidential.
Novavax will be transferring the manufacturing technologies that will allow Takeda to make the vaccine. The announcement has been made as per the earlier agreement between the government and the drug company. Nearly 250 million doses are expected to be manufactured. The rest of the doses would be given to other countries that was assured by Takeda earlier.
Japan has donated majority of its vaccine supplies that have been manufactured domestically. It includes the AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine. The country mainly depends on the mRNA type vaccines that are imported and are developed by Pfizer and Moderna Inc that would be used for vaccine administration within the nation. Japan had a slow start for its vaccination drive but has made an impressive progress in recent times. Nearly 58 percent of the population has now received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Meanwhile Takeda has the responsibility to handle distribution and import of 50 million doses, of the vaccine by moderna, in 2021 and 50 million more by 2022. There were reports that three of the batches of the Moderna vaccine were recalled in Japan after they discovered a metal contamination in some of the vials. The health ministry informed that a person had died after getting a shot from the recalled Moderna supplies. But Takeda said that the actual cause of the death is still being investigated and there is no evidence if the death is linked to the vaccine.
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