Japan reliance on foreign Covid-19 vaccines and bottlenecks: China and Russia helping internationally
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
China, Japan, and the Russian Federation all belong to the geographic space of Northeast Asia. Indeed, the Russian Federation is a transcontinental nation. However, despite China and the Russian Federation producing coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines to help internationally, Japan continues to focus on Western nations to help.
Strangely, such a technologically advanced nation like Japan can’t respond to the coronavirus crisis by producing its own vaccinations. Instead, Japan is self-reliant on Western nations despite neighbors having vaccines at the ready.
Japan is looking once more to America and European nations to produce vaccines. Thus, despite sharing the geographic space of Northeast Asia with China and the Russian Federation, Japan looks to the West. Hence, underlying petty nationalism exists among the upper echelons of the ruling elites. Therefore, despite many positive angles to the vaccine Sputnik V (the Russian Federation) with a roughly 92 percent protection rate – and being cheaper, easier to manage based on Pfizer-related temperature issues, and appearing safer – Japan is tied by history.
The BBC reports, “Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine gives around 92% protection against Covid-19, late stage trial results published in The Lancet reveal.“
Surprisingly, given the technological advancement of Japan, this nation is struggling to produce internal vaccines. Therefore, China and the Russian Federation are helping various nations all over the world in the international fight against the coronavirus, while Japan relies on Western vaccines.
France 24 quotes Antoine Bondaz (a researcher at the Foundation for Strategic Research) who said, “In its vaccine diplomacy, China has extremely important assets with several vaccines, considerable production capacity, vaccines that are sometimes easier to use and, above all, a very clear priority: To supply developing countries quite quickly.”
Meanwhile, Japan is worried about rolling out its vaccine program because of tighter vaccination controls in the European Union and issues over the appropriate syringes for the Pfizer vaccine. The Independent reports, “Japan has secured 144 million shots of the Pfizer vaccine, enough for 72 million people, however, a shortage of specialist “dead space” syringes that can collect the sixth dose means 12 million people will be unable to receive the vaccine.”
The Sputnik V vaccine is now authorized in 26 nations according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). This number will increase because it is known that Germany is interested along with other European Union nations. Similarly, vaccines emanating from China are boosting nations in Asia and further afield.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the RDIF, uttered, “By the end of the week, Sputnik V has been approved in 26 countries in Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Asia and North America exceeding the plan announced by RDIF earlier. Clinical trial data published in The Lancet medical journal demonstrated high efficacy and safety of the vaccine, which is also easy to distribute and affordable in price. Sputnik V is recognized globally as one of the key vaccines which will help protect humankind and return to normal life.”
However, unlike China and the Russian Federation who are helping internationally, Japan continues to rely on Western nations to produce vaccines because of the internal response being cumbersome.
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