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Daiichi Sankyo and KM Biologics have started clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines, the third and fourth Japanese firms to take the key step toward demonstrating the efficacy of their shots. But the public is unlikely to have access to them until well into 2022 at the earliest, Osamu Tsukimori reports.

So far Japan has stuck to ordering Western vaccines, but amid a growing consensus that Japanese vaccines won’t get the official OK until 2022, might the government look to Russia, China or Indian vaccines to tide the country over until then? As Tsukimori explains, the size of clinical trials and transparency are issues that could give Japan pause — at least in the case of two of the countries’ vaccines.

Japanese vaccine maker starts clinical trial of COVID vaccines | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN
Japanese vaccine maker starts clinical trial of COVID vaccines | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN

On Tuesday, the Cabinet decided to use ¥2.17 trillion in reserve funds for fiscal 2020 to financially support firms and households suffering from the prolonged impact of the pandemic. The funding includes ¥1.54 trillion for local authorities to aid restaurants and bars that close early as requested, with each operator able to receive ¥40,000 per day in subsidies.

Meanwhile, the Japan Pediatrics Society has confirmed the nation’s first mom-to-baby transmission of the new coronavirus. The baby has no health problems, the organization said.

Tuesday’s (and last Tuesday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (40 or over): Tokyo 337 (300), Osaka 183 (86), Saitama 136 (96), Miyagi 121 (69), Hyogo 84 (78), Okinawa 75 (27), Chiba 74 (76), Kanagawa 72 (91), Aichi 63 (30), Hokkaido 42 (69). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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