Japan is set to receive about 100 million doses of Pfizer Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine through May and June, the minister in charge of vaccination efforts has said, enough for nearly half of its population.

The shipments from the drugmaker's factory in Belgium will need to be individually approved under the European Union's export controls, Taro Kono said at a news conference Friday.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to secure COVID-19 vaccines for Japan's population of 126 million within the first half of 2021.