Japan will donate another 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca Plc.’s coronavirus vaccine to Thailand as part of an Asian health initiative that will see the Land of the Rising Sun donate a total 1.3 million doses.
Japan in July donated 1.05 million AstraZeneca doses to Thailand. Thai diplomats for months have been begging through diplomatic channels for donations of Covid-19 vaccines. and other aid from overseas allies.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Taiwan will get 500,000 more doses, bringing Japan’s total donation to the island to 3.9 million.
The latest donations will go out as soon as possible, and includes another 400,000 shots for Vietnam, 300,000 for Thailand and 100,000 to Brunei.
He said Japan has, so far, given more than 23 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, produced in Japan, to countries in South Asia and the Pacific islands.
Additionally, Japan has pledged US$1 billion and 30 million doses to the COVAX vaccine-sharng program, overseen by the Gavi alliance and the World Health Organization.
According to government data, Japan has fully vaccinated 50 percent of its population. The country has relied mainly on imported mRNA-type vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. for its domestic inoculation program, choosing to give away most of its supplies of AstraZeneca.