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COVID vaccines

Japan approves Pfizer vaccine for omicron variants BA.4, BA.5

Injections due to start this month with 43m doses to be supplied nationwide

Japan is preparing to send 43 million doses of the newest coronavirus vaccine to local governments.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan granted fast-track approval on Wednesday for Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, with injections due to start later this month.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare issued the special approval for the application that Pfizer submitted on Sept. 13. A formal decision is expected after a government-appointed expert panel meets Friday.

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