Japan to receive 2nd shipment of Pfizer vaccine on Sunday

Japan will receive its second shipment of Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, the minister in charge of vaccination efforts said Friday, as the rollout gradually expands to hospitals across the country.
Taro Kono said at a press conference the shipment of up to 452,790 doses is set to arrive after the European Union gave approval under its new vaccine export controls.
Japan, which received its first shipment of about 386,000 doses from Pfizer's factory in Belgium last week, launched its vaccination program on Wednesday starting with an initial group of 40,000 healthcare workers.
Kono said the roll-out is expected to expand to 100 hospitals next week.
Of the 40,000 healthcare workers, 20,000 are taking part in a study to track potential side effects caused by the vaccine, keeping daily records for seven weeks after receiving the first of two shots. The shots will be administered three weeks apart.
Vaccination of a further 3.7 million front-line health care providers is to begin in March, followed by 36 million people aged 65 or older from April, according to the schedule set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
People with preexisting conditions and those working at elderly care facilities will be next in line, followed by the general population.

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