The Japanese government endorsed a bill on Tuesday to make novel coronavirus vaccinations free to all residents in the country.
The bill will also compensate suppliers of the vaccines should serious side effects be caused and free health care will be offered to recipients of the vaccine should they experience any adverse effect.
The bill seeks to amend the current vaccination law and comes on the heels of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in his first policy speech in parliament since taking office in September delivered a day earlier.
The government said that the government would make sure that it secures enough vaccines for all people in Japan.
Once their safety has been confirmed pending clinical trials and regulatory approval, Suga said the government aims to secure enough vaccines for all people in Japan in the first half of next year.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition is aiming to pass legislation to secure the coronavirus vaccines by the end of the current Diet session on Dec. 5 and has allocated a budget of 671.4 billion yen (6.4 billion dollars) to achieve this.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition is aiming to pass legislation to secure the coronavirus vaccines by the end of the current Diet session on Dec. 5.
Also the coalition had allocated a budget of 671.4 billion yen (6.4 billion dollars) to achieve this.
Agreements between the Japanese government and British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc. have been made as well as with U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer Inc.
In both cases, Japan has agreed to receive 120 million doses of the vaccine from each company provided they are successfully developed.
Japan is also in talks with U.S. firm Moderna Inc. to secure at least 40 million vaccines.
The bill urges the public to make concerted efforts to get vaccinated and local municipalities will offer the inoculations with the costs being fully covered by the central government.
While the Japanese government has been hoping that pharmaceutical firms will be able to develop a homegrown vaccine, so far local drugmakers involved in COVID-19 vaccine developments are only in the early stages of clinical trials.
The government also endorsed a separated bill on Tuesday to revise the quarantine laws so that the isolation measures for people who test positive for the virus upon entry into Japan can be continued after February 2021.
This bill is also planned to be passed during the current Diet session.
So far Japan had 97,074 infected cases of COVID-19, 1,718 death and 89,709 people had recovered.