European Union curbs on exports of novel coronavirus vaccines could delay Japan's inoculation drive, the minister in charge of the campaign said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Japan says EU vaccine export curbs affecting its supplies
STEPANAKERT, FEBRUARY 2, ARTSAKHPRESS: The government in Japan is expected to extend a state of emergency in a bid to rein in the epidemic and is set to begin its vaccination campaign this month, the source said, adding any delay could sow doubts about a government aim to secure enough doses for everyone before the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
"The EU has enacted this export transparency mechanism, and it is affecting Japan's supply schedule," Taro Kono, the minister in charge of the vaccine effort, told reporters. Kono did no elaborate on the length of any possible delay.
Japan is relying on foreign vaccine manufacturers and Kono warned last week that growing nationalism over the shots could lead to retaliation and disruptions to global supplies.
Japan has secured rights to more than 500 million vaccine doses from several Western developers, more than enough for its 126 million population. But the dependence on overseas makers and a requirement that the vaccines go through domestic trials have delayed its campaign.