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Japan may approve AstraZeneca, Moderna vaccines as early as May 20 -Nikkei

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A medical worker fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine as Japan launches its inoculation campaign, at Tokyo Medical Center in Tokyo, Japan February 17, 2021. Behrouz Mehri/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

TOKYO, May 7 (Reuters) - Japan's government may approve the use of coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.L) and Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) as early as May 20, the Nikkei reported on Friday.

Health ministry officials plan to hold a meeting around that date to discuss approval, the financial daily reported.

The only vaccine for the novel coronavirus to have received Japanese approval so far is that developed by Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE).

Approvals for other vaccines are widely expected to come later this month, though no specific dates have been announced.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to have enough vaccine doses for the country's 126 million people by June, before the July 23 start of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Christopher Cushing

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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