HANOI/TOKYO (Bloomberg) : Japan is planning to provide Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam and Malaysia, the Yomiuri newspaper reported Saturday, without saying where it got the information.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s administration is preparing to dispatch the vaccines as soon as this month, the report said. The supply of the inoculations would be made outside the Covax initiative, the World Health Organisation-backed effort to buy and distribute vaccines to low- and middle-income nations, according to the Yomiuri.
The government will offer Malaysia and Vietnam the AstraZeneca vaccine because it’s approved by both nations’ health authorities, the report said. The amount of doses will be determined later, Yomiuri said.
Japan is also considering making vaccines available to Pacific Island countries in a plan that may be announced at a teleconference summit later this month, according to the newspaper. An earlier report by public broadcaster NHK said the government was considering shipping vaccines to Vietnam.
nullJapan Enters Taiwan-China Fight With Vaccine Shipment to Taipei
Japan on Friday delivered about 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Taiwan. The Japanese government has sufficient supplies to cover its own population and on Wednesday hosted a summit aimed at accelerating global vaccination efforts.
Vietnam’s government seeks to buy 150 million doses this year to cover 75% of its population, and has so far secured more than 80% of that target. The nation is facing a lack of vaccines as outbreaks hit key manufacturing hubs.
Slow Vaccine Rollout Creates Risks for Pandemic Standout Vietnam
Japan’s number of daily infections has come down steadily since the government extended a state of emergency for major cities, including Tokyo. New cases fell to 2,595 on Friday from the latest peak of 7,236 in early May, according to NHK.
The country’s local vaccine rollout is picking up pace with the seven-day average of doses quadrupling in just two weeks.