Pfizer vaccine arrives in Japan

Pfizer vaccine arrives in Japan

Japan aims to secure the necessary doses of the Pfizer vaccine through negotiations with the European Union.

A nurse prepares syringes for a coronavirus vaccination drill in Kawasaki on January 27.

"We should be in a position, providing all goes well, to start vaccinating border workers from next Saturday", Ardern said.

Millions of Pfizer vaccine doses may be discarded when Japan begins its Covid-19 vaccination rollout next week due to a shortage of specialist syringes required to extract the vaccine from the vials.

The vaccine is able to be stored at a higher temperature - 2C-8C - for up to five days and still be effective.

On Wednesday, Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said Cabinet had confirmed the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and preparations are under way to roll out the vaccine once it reaches New Zealand's shores.

The Pfizer vaccine will first be rolled out to border and frontline workers, which include nurses, cleaners and security staff at managed isolation facilities.

"Health care and essential workers and those most at risk from COVID-19 will follow in quarter two, before vaccination of the wider population in the second half of the year". It's expected to start vaccinating front-line medical personnel this month. "But be assured, we have pre-purchased enough vaccines to cover all New Zealanders, and to do so for free, and the Pacific as well".

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the vaccine comes in vials that can contain up to six doses.

Children under 16 years old will not be allowed to get the jab while trials are still under way on how the Pfizer vaccination affects children.

"Government representatives have been in conversations with Pfizer on a constant basis for the last few weeks".

"I also want to acknowledge and thank Pfizer, not only for the delivery of the first installment, but doing so earlier than originally anticipated when we entered into some of those agreements".

A Japanese panel has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, paving the way for the country to launch an inoculation effort that has faced criticism for being one of the last among developed countries. The timeline was this year updated to the first quarter. "We will use all the syringes we have that can draw six doses, but it will, of course, not be enough as more shots are administered", Norihisa Tamura said Tuesday, according to Kyodo News.

New Zealand Medical Association chairwoman Dr Kate Baddock says the vaccine is the next step in dealing with the pandemic.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has defended the speed of the country's rollout of vaccines, saying their safety and effectiveness must first be properly confirmed.

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