A man walks past a sign outside Pfizer Headquarters in New York City. Photo: REUTERS file
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Pfizer, BioNTech to supply 120 mil doses of experimental coronavirus vaccine to Japan

53 Comments

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have agreed to supply Japan with 120 million doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccine in the first half of 2021, the companies said on Friday.

The companies did not disclose the financial details of the agreement, but said terms were based on the volume of doses and the timing of the delivery.

The United States has signed a similar deal with Pfizer and BioNtech for 100 million doses for nearly $2 billion, which amounts to a $39 price tag for what is likely to be a two dose treatment course.

There is no current vaccine for COVID-19. The disease has claimed 670,000 lives and upended economies, and there are over 150 vaccines in various stages of development against the still fast-spreading virus.

BioNTech and Pfizer on Monday began a large, late-stage trial of their vaccine candidate to demonstrate its efficacy.

Daiichi Sankyo Co is in discussions to provide supplies of a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford for use in Japan.

Assuming clinical success of the vaccines, Pfizer and BioNtech said they are on track to seek regulatory review for the vaccine as early as October.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

53 Comments
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Well, I and my son will not be no one's guinea pigs. My prayer it works, however, I for one no thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You are of correct that some governments may protect companies from lawsuits but not in the States as Wipeout also discussed.

Sounds like you've misunderstood something there. I assume that virusrex and I were talking about the same thing, except that his description left room for other countries, while I clearly mentioned specifically the US. I did that for the following reasons.

When people talk about the "huge" payouts over the years ($4 billion), supposedly as proof that vaccines are damaging large numbers of people, they're referring to the courts that I mentioned above. Popularly, these are referred to as vaccine injury courts. Those courts are in the United States, and the payouts they're talking about are US payouts.

The US is both highly litigious, as I already mentioned, and known for large payouts, for example in jury cases. The vaccine courts in the US were established within that context. Compensation in other countries involves far more modest sums of money.

Many companies developing and manufacturing vaccines, like Pfizer, are American. The vaccine injury courts were established in the 1980s because of litigation issues leading to supply problems for certain vaccines; in short, having to pay out large amounts made companies less willing to manufacture existing vaccines, and less willing to develop new ones. The special courts in the US were a way to address that problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@drlucifer

That was the R&D contribution, not a purchase order.

The US funded all major coronavirus vaccine research efforts in exchange for a guaranteed first dip.

However, the US has not ordered the Oxford vaccine unlike BioNTech and soon to be ordered Moderna vaccines.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@virusrex

It is interesting to read your opinions as obviously you seem to be informed somewhat on the subject but your lack fact and show bias.

You are of correct that some governments may protect companies from lawsuits but not in the States as Wipeout also discussed.

The US as you seem also to be alluding to does offer compensation in some cases and there are tens of thousands.

Still, you both are referencing the US but the article is concerned with Japan where the laws do not protect consumers to the extent that the US does.The level of consumer protection is lacking in Japan therefore if there are any associated problems with an experimental Pfizer product then the plaintiff would need to seek redress in the US-not an easy task at all.

Also, “terribly flawed justice systems” are what exactly?Legal systems are in place to ensure fairness and justice when laws are ‘broken’. It is not worth picking apart your seriously flawed argument, suffice to say that to suggest that profit driven companies should not be balanced and checked by law is ridiculous.

Around the world where there are not the legal systems in place to prevent pharmaceutical company abuse, purported vaccines include viruses which can mutate and actually cause disease such as Polio which occurred in Africa.A myriad of other countries such as Afghanistan,Pakistan, Nigeria, the Congo,India etc. Have also fallen prey to unneeded vaccination programs.

Their legal systems are not open to all which is a fact that Big Pharma knows too.

Another example...

Drug companies in India pushed the HPV vaccine on girls as young as nine and the Indian government was forking out 150 dollars for a vaccine to protect girls from sexually transmitted viruses. Needless to say the Indian government initiated a crackdown on the shady company practices which sought to exploit.

Another example...

A vaccine which is common, Tetanus, is a common shot after injury yet the risk of death is never warned of. However, there is a risk of death!

https://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Tetanus/vaccine-injury.aspx

I regularly receive cuts doing household jobs and cat scratches without going to hospital.

Now, the present corona virus is a strain which researchers have admitted that is not well understood.

The origin is unknown and has not been confirmed.

So, something that is not understood and unknown in origin will be injected into the body?

An experimental vaccine of what concoction?

With regards to the legal problems in Japan and redress,I would refer you to cases where people have been poisoned in Japan and the results.

Japan has had its share of fatalities eg Miamata Byo where the plaintiffs suffered horrendously and the redress took years.

Compensation paid by Chisso took decades and thousands died.

There is never the case that there is no recourse.

When death is the result of toxic substances what recourse is there?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why are good americans not using these first.???.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

that is still a big if, and a long time in the future. meanwhile, the testing rate for japan is 157th in the world according to worldometer, at 6375 tests per 1 million population. way behind many poorer and less developed countries. there will be more unnecessary deaths in the mean time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Assuming , no mistakes are made and the protocols are followed and the companies and governments deem it safe, yet drug companies will refuse liability for damages caused by their products.

No, drug companies do not refuse liability, governments choose to shield effective and safe health interventions from terribly flawed justice systems where any company can simply be swamped by lawsuits until it has to spend every cent in defending itself, this would make impossible to have any vaccine in the market, even if every single case was solved with the vaccine as not responsible.

The governments have to do this because they are the most interested in having this intervention, and assume this responsibility when they are included in the recommended schedules for vaccination (vaccines not recommended by the government are not included in this system).

So, we can be exposed to extremely harmful substances and we have no recourse!

I will be refusing this one....

That is completely false, part of the system to shield the vaccine companies is to compensate all the claimants of vaccine injury, even if they cannot prove the vaccine had anything to do with the damage, even if it would be extremely weird for the vaccine to be involved in any way. As long as there is any real possibility the vaccine may have been related the recourse is there for be claimed, only those things already proved by science to be absolutely unrelated (like autism) are excepted from this. And again, if the vaccine is not actively recommended by the government then it is in exactly the same situation as every other drug.

There is never the case that there is no recourse.

It is irresponsible using the population as guinea pigs. Vaccine development must not be rushed

Both things are false, the vaccine clinical trials are still going to be done exactly the same as if this deal was never made, and there is no rushing necessary for a vaccine to be developed for next year. It can be tested the same as any other vaccine already approved.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is irresponsible using the population as guinea pigs. Vaccine development must not be rushed.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Assuming , no mistakes are made and the protocols are followed and the companies and governments deem it safe, yet drug companies will refuse liability for damages caused by their products.

In some countries, notably the United States, they don't need to "refuse liability". There is a vaccine injury compensation programme, paid out of a common fund financed by a surcharge on all vaccines. Under this system, in which claims have to go through a special court, no fault is assigned, and any awards are made quickly and easily.

Inevitably it's an imperfect system. The advantage for the claimant, and it's a huge one, is that they don't have to use the conventional adversarial method of taking a company to court, they don't have to prove the company was at fault, and they don't even have to prove that the vaccine actually caused the injury. All they do have to prove is that it's a so-called table injury: essentially, that their injury matches one of those that are recognized as possible from the specific vaccine. For many types of injury, this system heavily favours the claimant, and by no means all payouts are for injuries actually caused by the vaccine.

If companies were liable - your preference, evidently - they could fight every claimant using all the financial, temporal, and corporate resources at their disposal, and they could fight clean or dirty; while you, the claimant might feel overwhelmed by having to get legal representation and take on a multinational, and you may not have the time or money to spend on fighting it. You could easily be at a massive disadvantage. This is what actually happens to people in the normal court system.

As the pharmaceutical corporations don't have to fight every claim, and don't, in an otherwise highly litigious society, have to drag frivolous, unprovable crap like "your vaccine caused my child's autism" through the courts, they can continue to make vaccines and develop new ones. Their alternative would be, "let someone else make them". A problem with vaccine supplies was what led to the court being set up in the first place.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No thank you. We don't take 'em and wont that one either.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@virusrex

Assuming , no mistakes are made and the protocols are followed and the companies and governments deem it safe, yet drug companies will refuse liability for damages caused by their products.

It is the case with nuclear accidents too-no insurance company will indemnify nuclear power producing companies.

So, we can be exposed to extremely harmful substances and we have no recourse!

I will be refusing this one....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yeah, the virus itself is probably safer than the vaccine...

This kind of thinking is irrational in the extreme.

What specifically makes you think that a virus that has killed almost 700,000 people in only 7 months and caused severe sickness in many others, and in some cases, long-term health severe problems following recovery, is safer than a vaccine?

Vaccines provide protection, usually longterm, against diseases. You walk in, get your shot, and walk out. In some cases, as part of the immunity building process, a vaccine for a specific disease can make you feel quite sick, as I can say from personal experience. It's short term and comparatively mild. How is something that doesn't kill you - and we can base that assumption on other vaccines - less safe than something that we can predict with some confidence is going to cause more than a million deaths?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

How do they sell (or worse, buy) an "experimental" drug for the entire population that is not fully tested and has yet to be approved?

Is Japan that desperate to hold the Olympics?

That is precisely the answer. Who cares if it's not proven... Olympics gravy train must go ahead at all costs..Japan is safety everyone. Please come in and bring a different virus strain over , as long as J-Inc gets their promised Olympic pork.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

do not use it, it my kill you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Samit

The only vaccine that the US hasn't touched is the Oxford vaccine.

No true. Please check your facts.

https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/astrazeneca-scores-1b-from-u-s-signs-up-to-deliver-hundreds-millions-covid-19-vaccines

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An island nation of human guinea pigs. Better not be forced a vaccination!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That's the problem. IT doesn't. And what normal person wants to be a guinea pig for some random,suspect drug,masquerading as a vaccine? I know NONE of yous up on here supporting it would put your names forward.

Fortunately nobody has to do that and your accusations are only product of your imagination, you don't even know what is contained in the vaccine, so your conclusions about it are of no importance.

Yeah, the virus itself is probably safer than the vaccine...

According to what data? you can believe anything you want, but that does not make it "probable".

Only a fool would trust unproven human trials or a dead man walking.

Which is why nobody is doing it, the human trials are being conducted as usual, your misunderstanding would only apply if the deal included skipping those.

Only a fool would think that making a deal before completing the trials would mean there is no need to do them.

Why not test this human trials in China, its not a secret that the world knows where SARS2 started from, there are articles from first reports in Dec stating in JT where the first case was and how it arrived in Japan.

Because there is no sustained transmission on China, origin has absolutely no importance on where is convenient to test a vaccine.

Who get to be the guinea pigs?

The same people that volunteer to be enrolled in the studies after being informed on the results of the preclinical ones, usually health services related people volunteer soon because they get a lot of the benefits and understand enough of the science to be immune to the misinformation of antivaxxers.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Can't test it in China, cases there are very low. And even if they can, would be foolish to do it there

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Who get to be the guinea pigs?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Why not test this human trials in China, its not a secret that the world knows where SARS2 started from, there are articles from first reports in Dec stating in JT where the first case was and how it arrived in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Trust me, once a experimental drug past it final phase and is open for sale, finding enough stocks is a major problem and the prices would skyrocket. This is a way to secure for the future to prevent price wars with other nations."

Only a fool would trust unproven human trials or a dead man walking.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Rush to the market and zero liability indemnity has been granted to the vaccine manufacturers. For a virus with a 99.9% survival rate. I won’t be going anywhere near it thank you very much

Oh yes you will. Make no mistake - there will be penalties for those who refuse the doctor’s orders.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

And they should be more than enough for critical portions of the population that need to be vaccinated first

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just noticed this:

supply Japan with 120 million doses

and this:

what is likely to be a two dose treatment course.

that equals vaccination for only 60 million people, which is only half the population.

Yeah, the other half is too smart to get it.

Rush to the market and zero liability indemnity has been granted to the vaccine manufacturers. For a virus with a 99.9% survival rate. I won’t be going anywhere near it thank you very much

Yeah, the virus itself is probably safer than the vaccine...

0 ( +5 / -5 )

that equals vaccination for only 60 million people, which is only half the population.

That should be good enough for the moment. They are surely in the process of acquiring enough doses from other sources and even if we have those 120 million doses now it will take a long time before they're administered totally

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good news

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Finally some good news ! Fingers crossed !

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Oh No ... Bill Gates , scary ....

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Just noticed this:

supply Japan with 120 million doses

and this:

what is likely to be a two dose treatment course.

that equals vaccination for only 60 million people, which is only half the population.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What if it doesn’t work?

That's the problem. IT doesn't. And what normal person wants to be a guinea pig for some random,suspect drug,masquerading as a vaccine? I know NONE of yous up on here supporting it would put your names forward.

I read on SNA Japan that the Health Ministry's top medical technician, Yasuhiro Suzuki, was pushed out of his government job because he refused Abe's demand to approve the drug Avigan for use.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

But the media will be very unhappy if a successful vaccine is found and supply all over the world.

Because all the fear mongering news will be over!

1 ( +10 / -9 )

@Hank standerford

Check our YouTube study with Oxford university.

I have seen the comparative result and the Oxford vaccine isn't too encouraging, it's producing neutralizing antibodies at 1/5th the level of the BioNTech vaccine. Moderna vaccine is producing slightly more neutralizing antibodies than BioNTech but the T-cell response rate is somewhat lower.

There is a reason why the US government desperate for vaccines hasn't ordered the Oxford vaccine.

As for two Chinese vaccines, forget about them. It's obvious even from early data that they do not work and Canada is in trouble because they bet the farm on one of two Chinese vaccines.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Phase 3 is testing on 30,000 people now. You won’t be under a test phase. For japan to hand this out, phase 3 will be finished(around sept/oct) then FDA approval. Right now only side effects are mild fever and some headaches. Same as flu. Before you stand on your soapbox and shout you are not gonna take the shot, the gov can come out and say without the shot, you cannot use public transportation, shopping, flying etc. cards have been mentioned or putting it on the back of your health insurance card which everyone has. Just my 2 cents.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What if it doesn’t work?

it works. Stage 1 and 2 have created antibodies in the immune system as well as created more T cells. Check our YouTube study with Oxford university. Just waiting on FDA approval which will go fast.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Development of an effective medicine is only one step in the vaccination process. Development and distribution as well as actually convincing people of its efficacy are also important factors which need to be considered. In order to shorten the manufacture and speed up the process of inoculation of a large population, the manufacturing capacity has to be in place prior to any potential vaccine candidate procuring approval and licensing. There is a certain amount amount of ‘risk-reward’ calculations to be considered before a company will commit its resources regarding investment in potentially viable medicines or any other products for that matter. As another reader has indicated previously, this particular remedy may not work, but it needs to only work ti a certain extent in order to reach herd immunity.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@sf2K

december 2021?

December 2020.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I won't be taking a rushed through experimental vaccine until I see what happens to other people who have taken it.

COVID19 will make 'some' drug companies very rich!!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

We now have vaccines that are full of questionable ingredients (and this is putting it mildly). Now imagine vaccines that are laced with ingredients that have specialized applications for particular populations.

Think depopulation. Think eugenics. Think modifications to the human genome.

Can anyone here see where this is going?

Not really. This could go just about anywhere. Will we be confining our free association to the current planet, or we heading out into the solar system and beyond?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Samit BasuToday  08:24 am JST

BioNTech vaccine should be available to Americans starting in December, I will be the first in line to get this vaccine and let people here know if this thing works, any side effects, etc.

december 2021? USA will be under lockdown if not from itself then from other countries. Even with a vaccine it would be realistic that you'd still be quarantined to make sure

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

tested? plot to every zombie movie?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Can anyone here see where this is going?

5G?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

BioNTech vaccine should be available to Americans starting in December, I will be the first in line to get this vaccine and let people here know if this thing works, any side effects, etc.

I need a freedom to travel for vacations that I never had for this year and the vaccine is the key.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@Simian Lane

What if it doesn’t work?

This is supposed to be the best performing vaccine of vaccines in Phase 3 trial right now.

The issue is that Japan will get its deliveries only after the US got its order of 120 million dose delivered, in June and not by March as necessary to put the coronavirus under control in Japan.

Unless Japan can find somebody else's vaccine by March, the Tokyo Olympics is finished.

But the US already has the first dip on all three vaccine candidates, BioNTech, Moderna, and Sanofi.

The only vaccine that the US hasn't touched is the Oxford vaccine.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Rush to the market and zero liability indemnity has been granted to the vaccine manufacturers. For a virus with a 99.9% survival rate. I won’t be going anywhere near it thank you very much

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Is not 100% yet. First half of 2021 means the drugs still needs months of testing. Is not like Japan already getting them. Most of the experimental drugs has several phases that it need to passed before being open for the public. Most of the vaccine around the world already reach the 2nd or 3rd phases of the trials.

Reason why a country pre-order large supplies has several advantages. For one they usually get it cheaper then when it's official open to the market and also manage to secure enough stocks when the deal finally goes through in 2021.

Trust me, once a experimental drug past it final phase and is open for sale, finding enough stocks is a major problem and the prices would skyrocket. This is a way to secure for the future to prevent price wars with other nations.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I’m not sure that I want to take part in this experiment....

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Let's just hope that this is not just another help Abe's friends deal.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I will not be in a hurry receiving the new vaccine. I may receive it after seeing how it will affect others to check the side effects. At that time, COVID-19 may not be a serious problem.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Sure human trials are the best when you have crooked politicians in your back pockets "The companies did not disclose the financial details of the agreement, but said terms were based on the volume of doses and the timing of the delivery." Why aren't the details disclosed since its a "public" venture made by businesses and the publicly elected government? We have a right to know where this money is exchanging hands and to whom?

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Contracted or just an LOI? And GOJ agreed even before the results of the clinical trials are known? Good job Kato, hope you know what you're doing.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What if it doesn’t work?

Going by this article it looks like there won’t be a supply if it doesn’t work.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

How do they sell (or worse, buy) an "experimental" drug for the entire population that is not fully tested and has yet to be approved?

Is Japan that desperate to hold the Olympics?

16 ( +25 / -9 )

What if it doesn’t work?

7 ( +19 / -12 )

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