Scientists in Britain began clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday as other vaccine developers across Europe also stepped up work on experimental shots against the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Scientists in Britain began clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday as other vaccine developers across Europe also stepped up work on experimental shots against the disease caused by the new coronavirus.Photo: Reuters

Japan said on Tuesday it has committed 17.2 billion yen ($165 million) in funds for its participation in the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 vaccine programme.

The programme, known as COVAX, is aimed at helping buy and fairly distribute vaccination shots against the novel coronavirus around the world. But some countries which have secured their own supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, have said they will not join. The funds are part of a 1.64 trillion yen reserve intended to bolster the government’s response to the virus, a government document showed.

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Japan has also pursued independent arrangements with global pharmaceutical companies to secure vaccines, with the government pledging to have enough supply for the whole population by the first half of 2021.

The COVAX programme has set a 18 September deadline for contributions.