The central government will give prefectures under the coronavirus state of emergency priority for receiving Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine, said Taro Kono, who is overseeing the country’s vaccination rollout.
The state of emergency, covering 13 prefectures, including Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, is set to run through Sept. 12.
“We will work together to accelerate (vaccinations) with the Moderna product and the vaccine from Pfizer Inc.,” Kono, who also serves as regulatory reform minister, told an online news conference Friday.
The vaccine made by U.S. biotechnology company Moderna is expected to be sent to the prefectures in September.
“Since there are areas wishing to get additional vaccine supplies early, we will try to move up (the distribution schedule) as much as possible,” Kono said.
The Moderna vaccine has been used mainly at Self-Defense Forces-run mass inoculation sites in Tokyo and Osaka Prefecture.
The central government earlier said that areas under the state of emergency will receive British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC’s vaccine on a priority basis.
Regarding inoculations at workplaces and universities, Kono said that he expects vaccines will be sent by the end of this month to venues still waiting for the arrival of supplies.
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