Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo begins AstraZeneca vaccine production in Japan

Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Co. (第一三共株式会社) said Friday it has begun production the COVID-19 vaccine of Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc in Japan, as reports arose in some European countries of blood clots in individuals accepting the vaccine.

The pharmaceutical company said in a release it will set up the vaccine in Japan, including vial filling and packaging, using the bulk solution given by AstraZeneca.

In light of an outsourcing agreement concluded in February, the Japanese pharmaceutical firm started Thursday the vial filling and packaging of the vaccine using undiluted solutions given by AstraZeneca at its subsidiary Daiichi Sankyo Biotech Co., it said.

“We will supply the vaccine immediately after gaining approval from the Japanese government,” an AstraZeneca official said.

AstraZeneca, which petitioned for the Japanese health ministry’s approval of its COVID-19 vaccine toward the beginning of February, is set to give to Japan 120 million doses, enough for around 60 million individuals, of the immunization created with the University of Oxford.

Of the 120 million doses, 30 million will be made by Daiichi Sankyo and another pharmaceutical firm, KM Biologics Co., while JCR Pharmaceuticals Co. will produce solutions for 90 million doses.

The European Medicines Agency said Thursday it has begun an examination of blood clot cases among individuals who got the AstraZeneca vaccine, incorporating one death revealed in Denmark.

Some European nations have stopped providing shots of the British pharmaceutical giant’s vaccine following reports of 30 cases of thromboembolic events among almost 5 million individuals who have gotten it. Thailand likewise suspended the utilization of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday.

The EMA said the number of such cases is no higher than the number found in the general population and that the vaccine’s advantages presently still exceed chances.

In the interim, the European Union on Thursday expanded its vaccine export control mechanism until the finish of June as part of efforts to get immunizations for EU residents.

“We will make every effort to secure a stable supply of vaccines (to Japan) from the European Union,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Friday at a press conference, adding all applications for vaccine exports to Japan have been so far approved.

The Japanese government has effectively organized to purchase 120 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, enough for 60 million individuals. Most of the doses will be made in Japan by Daiichi Sankyo, JCR Pharma, and other local partners.

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