On December 18, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer submitted an application for the urgent approval of the Covid-19 BNT162b2 vaccine to the Japanese Ministry of Health.
Pfizer was the first developer of Covid-19 vaccine to apply for a license in Japan. Before that, Japan completed a contract to buy 120 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, enough for 60 million people.
Pfizer has conducted clinical trials on about 160 Japanese people since October. The study period is expected to last until around the fall of 2021. To date, the company has not discovered serious problems.
The pharmaceutical company decided to apply for official approval after collecting data and test results on 40,000 global volunteers. If the process goes well, it is likely that Pfizer will be the first vaccine distributor in Japan.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare aims to begin vaccination next March.
So far, the Pfizer vaccine has been approved in the UK, Bahrain, Canada, the US, Singapore … The UK and the US deploy vaccination to citizens on December 8 and December 12 respectively.
The BNT162b2 vaccine, formulated using RNA technology, is 95% effective and has no serious side effects. The vaccine has the ability to stimulate human cells to make viral proteins. The immune system then comes into contact with the protein and produces antibodies, the immune cells recognize and destroy the pathogen.
In Japan, the number of new infections is rapidly escalating, raising expectations that regulators will approve the vaccine. The country did not see a big outbreak like the US and Europe, but the epidemic got worse when winter came.
Covid-19 patient health facilities in Tokyo and Osaka have struggled to attract highly skilled nurses. On December 16, the capital government had to open a new medical center in Fuchu, specializing in treating people with moderate symptoms.
As of December 18, Japan had more than 187,000 CoV infections and about 2,700 deaths. The number of patients recovered is 158,287, but still 26,000 cases are under treatment and 607 critical cases.
Thuc Linh (According to the Nikkei)