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Pharmaceuticals

Japan to shoulder COVID vaccine liability risks

Government to compensate for side effects, in bid to secure stable supply

Nearly 30 coronavirus vaccine candidates have entered clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization, as drugmakers compress their development timelines. (Photo by Tomoki Mera)

TOKYO -- Japan's government plans to cover compensation for any health problems that may arise here from coronavirus vaccines, seeking to ensure a stable supply from foreign manufacturers as global competition intensifies, Nikkei has learned.

Japan has signed contracts with Pfizer and with AstraZeneca for 120 million doses each of their experimental vaccines. But both companies have reached similar agreements with other countries as well, leading some in Tokyo to worry that Japan will still be left behind.

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