According to The Mainichi, a prominent Japanese daily, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to give an additional $800 million to the World Health Organization’s COVAX program, which delivers COVID-19 vaccinations to nations in need.
Japan has already promised $200 million to COVAX, and the country is anticipated to announce vaccine dosage donations to the initiative, according to the newspaper, which did not name a source.
On Wednesday, Suga will host an online COVAX summit, which will also include US Vice President Kamala Harris, philanthropist Bill Gates, and leaders from the Group of Seven nations.
The conference is designed to close a $1.7 billion financing shortfall, and nations and organizations are expected to increase their promises of money and vaccine doses, a Japanese government official told reporters on Tuesday.
Japanese legislators have encouraged AstraZeneca Plc to provide vaccine supplies to Taiwan, which is coping with an increase in home illnesses and has immunized fewer than 2% of its 23.5 million inhabitants. Japan has no imminent intentions to utilize the AstraZeneca doses that it has on hand and has procured adequate supply of other types of vaccinations to cover its whole population.
Japan was considering sharing COVID-19 vaccinations with other nations on Friday after a ruling party panel requested that a portion of its supply of AstraZeneca Plc doses be handed to Taiwan, which applauded the proposal and sought a quick conclusion, according to Reuters.
Taiwan is dealing with an increase in home diseases and has only vaccinated roughly 1% of its population, but Japan has secured more over 400 million doses, or double what its adult population need.
We think it’s important to ensure fair access to safe and effective vaccines in every country and region towards achieving universal health coverage, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.
We will swiftly consider and look into a concrete course of policy with regard to how we provide other countries and regions with vaccines that exceed the amount for those needed at home.