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Japan announces purchase of 150 million doses of domestic vaccine

Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals has announced that Tokyo has hired it to manufacture the Covid vaccine from US company Novavax as the country moves to manufacturing the vaccine in-house.

Published: September 8, 2021, 1:52 pm

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    In a statement released on Tuesday, Takeda said the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will purchase 150 million doses of vaccine candidate TAK-019 from Novavax. Although it has not yet been licensed for use in Japan, Takeda will manufacture and distribute it early next year.

    The agreement is part of an earlier agreement between Takeda and Novavax that Japan will manufacture the vaccine at its facilities across the country. The Tokyo-based pharmaceutical giant expects a production capacity of more than 250 million doses of the vaccine per year.

    Confidence in mRNA vaccines has been shaken by a number of contaminated lots of Moderna mRNA injection, approximately 2,6 million of which will have to be recalled nationwide after a magnet-like substance were found in some of the vials. According to official information, three of its citizens died shortly after the contaminated vaccines were administered.

    Novavax, a two-dose vaccine, is protein-based, unlike Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA injections.

    Cuba is the first country in the world to inject young children with its own manufactured vaccines Abdala and Soberana, as reported by France 24.

    Cuban authorities approved the vaccine doses for emergency use on September 3, with the program launched without the consent of the World Health Organization.

    The Cuban vaccines use the same recombinant protein formula as Novavax, an unapproved US-made competing product. The vaccines without ribonucleic acid (mRNA) are said to cause fewer side effects and a stronger immune response in minors.

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