Japan to donate 300,000 more AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Thailand

Japan to donate 300,000 more AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Thailand

Japan prefers imported Pfizer, Moderna jabs for domestic inoculation, and has given away most of its AstraZeneca supplies.

Vials labelled
Vials labelled "Astra Zeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed Japan flag, in this illustration photo taken March 14, 2021. (Reuters file pohto)

TOKYO: Japan said on Tuesday it will donate an additional 1.3 million AstraZeneca Plc Covid-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan and other Asian neighbours, including 300,000 doses to Thailand.

Taiwan will get 500,000 more doses, bringing Japan's total donation to the island to 3.9 million, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters.

The latest donation batch will go out as soon as possible, and includes another 400,000 shots for Vietnam, 300,000 for Thailand, and 100,000 to Brunei, Motegi said.

To date, Japan has given out more than 23 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in Japan to countries in South Asia and the Pacific islands, he said.

Additionally, Japan has pledged $1 billion and 30 million doses to the Covax programme, overseen by the GAVI alliance and the World Health Organization.

Japan has fully vaccinated 50% of its population, according to government data on Monday. The country has relied mainly on imported mRNA-type vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc for its domestic inoculation push, choosing to give away most of its supplies of the AstraZeneca shot. 

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