Japan has agreed to buy 150 million doses of Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine as Japanese firm Takeda expects to manufacture the formula for distribution early next year.
The cost of the deal has not been announced, although it is dependent on the approval of the vaccine by the Japanese government and the drug making firm, Takeda will be in charge of carrying out local clinical trials.
So far, Japan has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca jabs, though the latter is being administered in a limited fashion.
The Novavax’s two-jab vaccine relies on a more traditional technique, unlike the mRNA products from BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and Curevac.
The Novavax vaccine uses proteins to carry fragments of the coronavirus rendered harmless to produce an immune reaction, which indicates that the vaccine does not need to be stored in ultra-low temperatures, potentially giving it a logistical edge.
Meanwhile, the US and EU regulators are yet to give their evaluation of the jab’s efficacy.
In August, the European Commission announced that it had approved a supply contract with U.S. firm Novavax to buy up to 200 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine, also contingent on its approval by the EU regulator.
After a relatively slow start, Japan’s vaccination programme has picked up speed as around 48 percent of the population is now fully vaccinated.