Kono: PM, Pfizer agree for more vaccine doses

NHK -- Apr 18
The Japanese minister overseeing the government's COVID-19 vaccination program says Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has effectively reached agreement with US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer for additional vaccine supplies.

Suga asked for more doses when he spoke by phone with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla during his visit to Washington.

Regulatory Reform Minister Kono Taro indicated on a TV program on Sunday that a substantial agreement was reached in the telephone talks.

He also suggested the government will be able to provide enough doses to cover all eligible people by the end of September. Japan's rollout currently targets the population aged 16 or older.

As for the inoculation of younger people, Kono noted an application has been made in the United States to allow the use of the vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.

He said he thinks a similar move will be made in Japan sooner or later. He added the government will ask experts to discuss the matter including vaccination schedules and will work to make preparations.