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COVID vaccines

120m AstraZeneca shots caught in Japan's regulatory limbo

Two-step authorization stalls rollout as production begins

Vials of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca: The fate of Japan's 120 million doses of the vaccine remains up in the air.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The fate of roughly 120 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine remains up in the air in Japan after the government paused the rollout the very same day it gave the green light for emergency use.

With Japan lagging behind such countries as the U.S. in vaccinations, Tokyo's mixed messages have drawn criticism. Still, the vaccine's road to real-world deployment remains rocky as fears over its potential side effects loom large.

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