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Japan to subsidize mass production of coronavirus vaccine

11 Comments

The Japanese government has decided to facilitate large-scale manufacturing of coronavirus vaccines by launching a subsidy program for producers, government sources said Friday.

By providing financial assistance for preparing production facilities at an early stage, the government hopes to make vaccines available to people soon after they are deemed suitable for use. The size of the investment will be tied to progress made, the sources said.

More than 110 coronavirus vaccine development projects are under way worldwide, with some in the clinical testing phase, according to a World Health Organization list.

Six projects are located in Japan, led by organizations such as the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying clinical trials in the country are expected to start as early as July.

Under the envisioned program, the Japanese government will publicly seek firms for the sale and production of vaccines and provide funds for the promising candidates, whose efficiency and safety have been confirmed in clinical trials, emerge in Japan or abroad.

But many experts say a vaccine is unlikely to be approved this year, and that it may take up to a year once one is found before it can be supplied to everyone, meaning Japan may have to consider who should be given priority for receiving it.

As an international race intensifies, British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Plc, which has been given more than $1 billion by the United States, said Thursday it has the capacity to supply a vaccine -- now in development at the University of Oxford -- from September, if clinical trials are successful.

On Monday, U.S. biotechnology company Moderna Inc reported positive interim clinical results of its vaccine candidate, showing antibodies in eight people it gave doses to, and said it will start a large-scale clinical test in July.

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11 Comments
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Strange story. No vaccine exists, and some experts say one may never exist. So shouldn't the writer say something like, "the government plans to subsidize the production of a vaccine if one can be made"?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The UK company working on this, is according to this AM's "mezamashi news" is supposed to be going to human trials in the US in September or so this year. They are planning on testing the vaccination on 30,000 test participants!

It also seems to me that there SHOULD be a more coordinated effort being made world wide, but as we all know, a country's pride gets in the way of cooperation!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A government officially announcing a subsidization program can deter drug companies from trying to use supply and demand to gain massive profits. I expect most countries who have the leverage are preparing the same moves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

By providing financial assistance for preparing production facilities at an early stage, the government hopes to make vaccines available to people soon after they are deemed suitable for use

The government gave out subsidies to companies from the end of January to ramp mask production and we all know how that ended.

Well, even one is available, I will pass cause we now live in a world that money trumps human life.

I have always looked at the flu vaccine as nothing but a scheme to enrich pharma companies. Why because the flu strain is known to change from season to season and the vaccines are mass produced beforehand without knowledge of which strain would be prevalent.

The cost is also an issue, children above a certain age have to take it twice and one dose cost 3,000yen that is 6,000yen. It can cost a family of five 20,000yen for the seasonal flu vaccine.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

My comment exactly. There are no vaccines. What are they going to inject into us? Scary stuff. I thought un was above all this. The Japanese gov’t is supporting this. We’re the next guinea pigs, I see. Never a dull moment.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Are there even Japanese vaccines to subsidize?

The first waves of vaccines will be from the US or UK and Japan will have to import these vaccines, because Japan has to eradicate the coronavirus by this Winter if the 2021 Tokyo Olympics is to take place as scheduled, or be cancelled for good this time as IOC vowed no new delay.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe the Japanese government will give it to other countries from free, just like it did with Avigan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's still at least a year away, best case scenario. Rather than compete, governments need to cooperate to find what appear to be the most viable paths of research, and build up production facilities globally to turn out a vaccine once it is developed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So few corona cases in Japan, hardly no deaths, why would vaccine be needed ?

To cash in from Olympics in 2021 ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't take the vaccine. It will just encourage Big Pharma to manufacture more pandemics. "Never negotiate with terrorists."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has to eradicate the coronavirus by this Winter if the 2021 Tokyo Olympics is to take place as scheduled, or be cancelled for good this time as IOC vowed no new delay.

I'm 55 and am pretty sure I had coronavirus - I'm old enough to recognize flu-like symptoms (high fever, body ache) and was unwillingly quarantined for 14 days (coincidentally, the same amount of time corona virus sufferers are quarantined in other countries) no matter my protestations. I asked the doctor whether this was legal, and in she said that, in this case, it was. My case was attributed to something else and didn't show up on the stats.

I wonder how many others have had the same experience and whether that is why Japan appears to be doing such an "excellent job".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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