In Japan, the vaccines against the novel virus could be available to all who want it, Nikkei reported on Wednesday. Shinzo Abe’s cabinet is considering offering free antivirus vaccines nationwide, the full cost of the program to be borne by central government.
The Japanese government believes that the priority in vaccination should be given to the elderly and health care workers. Later, the opportunity to vaccinate will be expanded to others. The full cost of immunization will be paid for from the national budget to ensure smooth mass vaccination.
The lessons from the epidemics in from 2009 to 2010 have bee learned. This year, Japan offered subsidized vaccines to those with low incomes. In principle, people paid out of pocket for the COVID-19 vaccine, which cost about $34.
Offering free COVID-19 vaccines using reserve funds is now under consideration. The plan calls for the central government to bear the full cost, without requesting local authorities to pay.
Japan continues R&D for anti-COVID vaccine
Japan’s government aims to secure enough vaccines to immunize all residents by the first half of 2021, with the Olympics scheduled to take place in Tokyo next summer.
Meantime, the negotiations with multiple pharmaceutical companies are continuing, among them are Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
In its efforts to make the upcoming Olympics safe, Japan will not only create a framework for vaccination but also prepare relief measures for those who suffer side effects from the vaccine.
In addition, the Asian country will set up a system that allows for compensation to be paid to participants in clinical trials. Such fees, which are normally paid by pharmaceutical firms, will be paid by Abe’s government.