Pfizer applies for COVID-19 vaccine approval in Japan

FILE PHOTO: The Pfizer logo is seen at the entrance to Pfizer UK headquarters in Tadworth, Britain, December 2, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

TOKYO (Reuters) -Drugmaker Pfizer Inc said on Friday it had applied for approval in Japan for its COVID-19 vaccine, which is already being administered in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Japanese government has a supply deal with Pfizer for 120 million doses of the vaccine made by the U.S. drugmaker and German partner BioNTech.(

Pfizer said in a statement it had made the application to Japan’s Health Ministry, along with providing information on tests it has carried out up to now.

A final decision on approval would be made after authorities examine data due in February from Pfizer’s trials in Japan, Health Minister Norihisa Tamura was quoted by Jiji News as saying.

Japan has said it wants all its residents vaccinated in the first half of 2021, although Tamura said whether or not to get the vaccine was ultimately up to each individual, Jiji reported.

Reporting by Elaine Lies and Chang-Ran Kim in Tokyo and Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Himani Sarkar