A vial and syringe are seen in front of the AstraZeneca logo. Photo: REUTERS file
national

AstraZeneca to produce 90 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in Japan

42 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
Login to comment

Yes domestic production capability is of utmost importance to securing supply

7 ( +14 / -7 )

While they havent applied for approval yet, its good to know the local trials have long been underway

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Things about the vaccine are really exciting,...will the vaccine come, will it not come, is it safe, is it not safe, if it comes when will it come, who will be the first to be vaccinated, how about vaccine at the Olympics, if it comes which company is the producer...and so on...

Everyday different, sometimes strange and sometimes surprising news!

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

When is the production starting? AstraZeneca hasn't even filed for approval according to the article....

1 ( +9 / -8 )

What i want to understand is why limit to 90million. They should have licensed japan to produce as much as possible to help out in global production and should have started long ago.

I guess it needs use approval first before production can commence

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Things about the vaccine are really exciting,..

Concern now is whether it will still be effective to the new and upcoming virus variants

3 ( +9 / -6 )

@ian

Concern now is whether it will still be effective to the new and upcoming virus variants

Exactly...some are saying yes...some are saying probably...

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Totally inept government and pharmaceutical industry. Why didn’t they see this coming bird flu etc. One of the richest and advanced countries with no domestic vaccine? Unbelievable! Down right embarrassing!

21 ( +30 / -9 )

Readers, once again, some of you feel the need to post Japan-bashing comments when it is not called for.

Fab!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Concern now is whether it will still be effective to the new and upcoming virus variants

No, there is no such concern.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

"We believe it is very important to be able to produce the vaccines domestically," Kato told reporters.

As the EU has discovered to it’s peril. Now Japan has to approve the vaccine use or this good news will be pointless.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

noriahojanenToday  12:47 pm JST

According to Nikkei (Japanese) , the process of both production and regulatory approval will go simultaneously, get it done by May for rollout.

Quoted from "dry ice..." article discussion

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Concern now is whether it will still be effective to the new and upcoming virus variants

Exactly...some are saying yes...some are saying probably...

Some vaccine manufacturers have stated that their vaccines are expected to be effective against specific variants. But I wouldn't be surprised if these vaccines will be less effective against some current or future variants. That is a risk of using a vaccine that contains only one protein (or mRNA encoding that protein) from the target virus. That's like playing roulette and putting all your chips on the same number.

In this respect, the Chinese vaccine might be better as it consists of multiple viral particles from an inactivated virus. Having said that, I wouldn't take anything from China...

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

AZ seems to be dispensing the vaccine on a first come, first served basis - and is also having a few problems meeting production quotas - much to the irritation of the EU. I wonder where Japan is in the pecking order...?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

That is a risk of using a vaccine that contains only one protein (or mRNA encoding that protein) from the target virus. That's like playing roulette and putting all your chips on the same number.

Not really, if the protein to be used is very inmunogenic, is fixed because the antigen recognized is also necessary for infection and it does not influence the development of autoimmunity is is always best to choose it. After all you get a lot of different antibodies against it, not a single one.

An inactivated virus on the other hand have multiple proteins that increase the risk of originating allergies or autoimmune reactions without giving a real advantage (since the virions would not have any of those proteins exposed for the antibodies to attach) It doesn't even add a greater chance of protecting from new variants, because the inactivated viruses do not include the new spike proteins either. if you add the known danger for highly pathogenic coronaviruses of causing excessive inflammatory reactions for a vaccine that don't activate the intracellular pathways of defense it is much more logical to consider an inactivated vaccine as much more risky. It is definitely not better, only cheaper.

Following your analogy, the mRNA vaccines are like betting for "reds" or "blacks" on the roulette, while inactivated viruses would be like betting on a few random numbers, including some that are not even included on the roulette. What would be betting all on a single number would be using one single antigen of the whole protein, or closer even using passive immunity with monoclonal antibodies.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Looks like good news for Japan.. It would be ridiculous to rely on supply from the USA and Europe.

Sure it’s slower than we’d like but it’s movement nonetheless.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

with Daiichi Sankyo Co, JCR Pharmaceuticals Co and other local partners agreeing to make and distribute the shots.

They are capable firms for licensed mass producing. Homeland production line would be good to secure smooth vax supply in Japan (considering the ongoing row between AstraZeneca and the EU; seems that the EU is seeking a temporary halt of exporting jabs outside). Japan might also be able to serve as an outpost covering Asia-Pacific region. Hopefully it will become a silver lining.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Not before the end of summer mates

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@virusrex

Terrific. Thank you very much for educating us and generally being a voice of sanity over the last year, with so many FW's spouting copious amounts of utter nonsense.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

90 million guinea pigs.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Oxford has been working on COVID vaccines long before the Chinese flu started. They were ahead of the curve long before any of the other companies even started.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

But a few are only criticizing Japan whatever the topic. Japan will never do better than my home country, but for many things,at the end of the day. Japan does better than most countries.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

When will the vaccine be available?

So far not necessary?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I got a letter from the ward office. I think it is a vaccine schedule. What year is 4 in the Gregorian calendar?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

And I guess the information by the person I know working on the vaccine situation here in Japan was telling the truth.

As I said a few articles back he told me that Japan would use Pfizer vaccine on medical staff and a few other but was holding off to get the no deep freeze one for the general population so they can do it all in one shot using the same method used yearly to vaccinate 60 to 80 million for influenza.

So it will be our regular local doctors doing most of it.

Those that have worked for large Japanese companies may understand.

Every year my wife's company has a bus come to the office it is a mobile clinic every employee goes and gets their flu shot.

This version of the vaccine is like the flu vaccine it only needs to be kept in a standard fridge so any doctor's office can handle administering it.

So Japan may start later than most western countries but with the yearly experience of administering 60 to 80 million vaccinations every year over a 2 to 3 months period 120 + million shouldn't be a problem as long as all the supplies are in place.

The west has seen what happens when supplies are not in place before, states and countries running out as supplies are not available.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@

AntiquesavingToday 08:00 pm JST

And I guess the information by the person I know working on the vaccine situation here in Japan was telling the truth.

As I said a few articles back he told me that Japan would use Pfizer vaccine on medical staff and a few other but was holding off to get the no deep freeze one for the general population so they can do it all in one shot using the same method used yearly to vaccinate 60 to 80 million for influenza.

So it will be our regular local doctors doing most of it.

Those that have worked for large Japanese companies may understand.

Every year my wife's company has a bus come to the office it is a mobile clinic every employee goes and gets their flu shot.

This version of the vaccine is like the flu vaccine it only needs to be kept in a standard fridge so any doctor's office can handle administering it.

So Japan may start later than most western countries but with the yearly experience of administering 60 to 80 million vaccinations every year over a 2 to 3 months period 120 + million shouldn't be a problem as long as all the supplies are in place.

The west has seen what happens when supplies are not in place before, states and countries running out as supplies are not available.

Excellent information and very logical. Thanks

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Antique

Why are they ordering so many freezers then?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A lot of controversies in Europe with contracts signed with AstraZeneca.

I wouldn't be too much optimistic here.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A lot of controversies in Europe with contracts signed with AstraZeneca.

I wouldn't be too much optimistic here.

Yes because the production is being sent to places outside the EU to fill orders.

Note the article clearly states that the production will be done by Japanese companies under license.

AZ will not be making it here or have control of selling it or distribution, Japan will.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@SandyBeachHeaven

The previous headlines about Japan ordering x amount of ultra cold freezers omitted to point out they are not those giant freezers like those USA hospitals bought.

They were actually tiny compact type, faster to produce and deliver, saw them on Japanese TV just a bit bigger than a hotel room fridge.

They will still be buying and using Pfizer for millions of doses for medical staff untill AZ vaccine is available via local licensed production.

Sometimes headlines don't tell the whole story, tiny freezers sent to multiple small hospitals and clinics around the country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why on earth we couldn't produce our own vaccine?

But anyway, thank you to these companies that made the vaccines

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Thomas Goodtime

Well many reasons.

Osaka University was partnered in trying but that one is far behind.

Then we have the all to familiar patent problem, some of the best ways to create a vaccine for this type of virus have been patented by the companies now producing their vaccines meaning either the Japanese researchers pay them so they can use the parts/methods or they need to find a workaround. I am not sure but I think the Japanese efforts decided to not go the mRNA route to avoid the situation of infringing on patents.

This has been a problem not only in Japan but other countries.

Some countries resorted to declaring a national emergency and telling their local researchers and developers to use everything and anything they want regardless of who owns the technology.

This was done before regarding HIV medication with countries tell the owners of the patents to either supply at the prices the government sets or the government would license generics to produce without the patent owner's permission.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/28/europe/germany-astrazeneca-vaccine-coronavirus-grm-intl/index.html

I am wondering if Japan has the same concerns with this particular vaccine. With a huge portion of our population being over 65, is it a bad idea to purchase so many of these?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Richard. No other country using the Astra Zeneca vaccine has identified a problem with using it for over 65s. The EU is set to approve it for this age group, it’s just Germany who see a problem. They did publish a flawed study of the vaccine last week, that was retracted, but now say it doesn’t work in this age group. Rubbish. I think it is more to do with the political decision to vaccine the young first, they need an excuse to ignore the older and more vulnerable population.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The controversies are with the EU handling of the problem. They prevented individual countries from ordering their own and even now still haven't approved the AZ vaccine. The delay is entirely of EU making

gakinotsukaiJan. 28  08:15 pm JST

A lot of controversies in Europe with contracts signed with AstraZeneca.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Luddite Thanks for the info. I am not one of the people "deep into the lore" of the vaccine, so I just found both of these articles at nearly the same time on my newsfeed and thought it odd.

From what you say, sounds like no big deal then.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not sure if AstraZeneca vaccine will help Japan, since Germany just banned its use among people 65 and older.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55839885

Coronavirus: Germany set to limit AstraZeneca jab to under-65s

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Re: the above comment:

As a human being, an accountable member of the community and especially as a father, I have some simple, valid and common sense orientated questions... If it is not recommended for people over 65, children or pregnant women because of safety concerns, then why is it considered 'safe' for everyone else? Isn't it logical to feel that if it's not recommended for one or more select groups of human beings, then how can it be truly safe for ALL human beings? I wonder if when they give out the doses, do they take into account any and all pre-existing conditions or even any autoimmune diseases and other factors that people may have or don't actually even know they have, including emotional or physical trauma or illness? Or is it a one size fits all approach? And because it has been rushed, how do we know what the long term effects are? What issues could it cause in years to come? And why are none of the manufacturers liable in any way, shape or form? I'm asking for all the journalists and the majority of JapanToday users that don't seem to have the capacity to ask these simple, rooted in logic questions, that each and every ONE of us genuinely deserve to have the option to ask without the fear of being shamed or ridiculed in any way.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Better prove safety first and efficacy before producing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take when it comes out approved. I asked my doctor and she said yes. I have taken my first shot. I am in the US. No side effects even after the 8th day. Looking forward to the 2nd dose.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not sure if AstraZeneca vaccine will help Japan, since Germany just banned its use among people 65 and older.

And yet other countries are using it on this particular demographic with no issues so faR.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites