Japan’s Diet has passed a bill to provide free coronavirus vaccine to every single citizen. The Upper House of the Diet unanimously approved on Wednesday a bill to revise laws related to immunization and quarantine to address the ongoing pandemic.
The bill says that the government will cover all vaccine costs for Japan’s 126 million residents. The country has secured Covid-19 vaccines for 60 million people from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and for a further 25 million people from biotech firm Moderna.
It has also confirmed it will receive 120 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Pfizer and Moderna are already seeking emergency-use approval in the United States and Europe, after clinical tests showed their jabs were effective. The bill’s passage comes two weeks after Japan’s prime minister said the country was on “maximum alert” over the virus, and as medics warn hospitals are on the brink of collapse.
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