Japan Enacts Law to Make Coronavirus Vaccines Free to Residents

By Kyodo News 2 December 2020

Japan’s parliament enacted a law Wednesday to cover the costs for residents to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, as hopes grow for the early arrival of vaccines following recent reports of progress amid a resurgence of infections.

The House of Councillors unanimously passed a bill to revise the current vaccination law after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged to secure coronavirus vaccines for all the roughly 126 million residents of the country in the first half of next year.

Japan has agreed with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc., US firm Moderna Inc. and Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc to receive sufficient vaccines for 145 million people when they are successfully developed, earmarking a budget of 671.4 billion yen (US$6.4 billion, 8.4 trillion kyats) for that purpose.

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