TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government is preparing to provide COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam as the country struggles to procure enough doses for its citizens amid a spike in coronavirus infections, a lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said Saturday.
Upper house lawmaker Masahisa Sato, who heads the ruling party's Foreign Affairs Division, said in a television program that the government has started making arrangements with Vietnam.
Japan is expected to donate doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc of Britain. On Friday, Japan sent a total of 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan.
While Japan has secured enough AstraZeneca doses for 60 million people and approved their use last month, it does not intend to use them immediately in public inoculation programs due to rare cases of blood clots reported overseas.
Despite being touted as a model for containing the outbreak, Vietnam has been facing a resurgence of infections since late April, with its health authorities reporting a hybrid coronavirus variant that combines characteristics of the strains first detected in Britain and India.