The government will approve the use of Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine as soon as May 21, the Yomiuri newspaper reported Saturday without attribution.

The Moderna vaccine would be the second to get approved in Japan and will be used in the nation’s large inoculation centers that will open in Tokyo and Osaka from May 24, the paper said. Currently, only the Pfizer Inc. vaccine is cleared for use in Japan.

Japan has a contract with Moderna for enough shots to inoculate 25 million people, and is set to receive sufficient deliveries for 20 million by June and another 5 million in the following three months, the paper said.

The European Union said on Monday that it had authorized some 52.3 million doses made in European factories by companies including Pfizer and Moderna for export to Japan, the highest volume among all 43 countries to which vaccines have been shipped.

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