Japan mulls donating COVID-19 vaccine doses to Philippines

Kyodo News

Posted at Jun 15 2021 11:27 AM

Japan mulls donating COVID-19 vaccine doses to Philippines 1
A health worker fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Noevir Stadium Kobe in Kobe, Japan, June 12, 2021. Issei Kato, Reuters

TOKYO - Japan will donate 1 million coronavirus vaccine doses to Vietnam on Wednesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said.

Tokyo is also mulling donating amounts of COVID-19 vaccine to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand in July, Motegi said in a press conference on Tuesday.

"After considering comprehensively the infection situation (in Vietnam), the shortage of vaccines and relationship with Japan, we have come to that decision," Motegi said.

The provision of the vaccine developed by Britain's AstraZeneca Plc and produced under license in Japan came in response to a request from Vietnam. It follows Japan's donation of 1.24 million shots to Taiwan earlier in the month.

Vietnam has been facing a resurgence of infections since April, with its health authorities reporting a hybrid coronavirus variant that combines characteristics of strains first detected in Britain and India.

While Japan has secured enough AstraZeneca vaccines for 60 million people and approved their use last month, it does not intend to use them immediately in public inoculation programs due to rare cases of blood clots reported overseas.

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