Malaysia to receive 1 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from Japan


  • World
  • Friday, 25 Jun 2021

FILE PHOTO: Empty vials of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a vaccination centre in Antwerp, Belgium March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters): Japan said on Friday it would send two million additional doses of AstraZeneca Plc's Covid-19 vaccine to Taiwan and Vietnam and arrangements were being made to send one million doses each to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The direct donations, which should help Japan to increase its diplomatic influence in Asia, come as wealthy nations are being pushed to provide more doses to the global vaccine sharing scheme Covax to cover a 200-million dose shortfall.

While densely populated lower-income countries act as incubators for new and more dangerous strains of the coronavirus, some of the poorest countries have vaccinated fewer than 1% of their populations, according to estimates from Gavi, a global vaccine alliance that runs Covax with the World Health Organization.

Japan has pledged USD$1bil (RM4.16bil) and 30 million doses to the Covax facility and said this month its direct shipments to Asian neighbours are being made outside of Covax to speed up delivery.

Japan donated 1.24 million doses to Taiwan and 1 million to Vietnam this month and plans to share an additional 1 million doses each with the two.

A Taipei-based official familiar with Japan's two vaccine donations said while the Japanese government has been subtle in its offers, mainly focusing on Taiwan's urgent medical need, there was a broader message.

The donations are actually an important move to echo the US campaign of a free and open Indo-Pacific region to counter China's geopolitical clout in the region, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Taiwan has accused China of blocking its access to foreign vaccines, which Beijing denies. The island, which China claims as its own territory, also received 2.5 million vaccine doses from the United States this month.

Japan is drawing on 120 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine it has reserved, as it has no immediate plans to use the shots at home amid lingering concern over international reports of blood clots.

Its foreign minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, said on Friday that Japan would start to supply 11 million doses in total to regions including Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and the Pacific islands through the Covax from mid-July. - Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In World

Date turns violent when man is stabbed by woman he met on dating app, US cops say
Virtual climate reality: Can ‘digital twins’ help protect us from disasters?
Gunman in Thailand kills 34 people at day-care centre
Amid high US inflation, online insurance offers mislead elderly
Twitter under Elon Musk? Most of the plans are a mystery
In an empty kitchen, Yemeni family struggles with hunger
Australian man arrested in alleged scam of Optus hack victims
Facebook asks users for more help improving its�algorithms
Stepfather sexually assaults girl in front of students in online class, US cops say
Some 16,000 traffic charges ‘dismissed’ – by mistake – after North Carolina courts computer problem

Others Also Read