Japan will buy 10,500 freezers to store new coronavirus vaccines and is considering buying dry ice in bulk as it prepares to protect its population from the virus, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
Japan has agreements to purchase a total of 290 million doses of the vaccines from Pfizer Inc, AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc, or enough for 145 million people if everyone receives two injections as needed.
Pfizer’s vaccines should be kept around minus 75 degrees Celsius (minus 103 Fahrenheit, and Moderna’s around minus 20 C, which poses logistical problems.
Pfizer, as well as Moderna and its domestic partner Takeda Pharmaceutical, plan to build networks to keep vaccines at the proper temperature as they are delivered to the place where they will be deployed, the ministry said in a statement.
Japan has had more than 165,000 cases of infection with the new coronavirus and 2,417 deaths, and the capital, Tokyo, has been particularly affected. Tokyo reported 352 new cases on Tuesday.
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