The government on Tuesday approved a bill to pay all costs to administer COVID-19 vaccination to all residents in Japan, and to compensate suppliers in the event any serious side effects occur.

The bill to amend the current vaccination law is in line with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's pledge to secure novel coronavirus vaccines for everyone in the country in the first half of next year. His government is aiming for its enactment during the current Diet session, set to run through Dec. 5.

To that end, the government has earmarked a budget of ¥671.4 billion. It has agreed with British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. to receive 120 million doses of vaccine from each company when successfully developed, and is negotiating with U.S. firm Moderna Inc. for 40 million or more additional doses.