TOKYO -- Only about 34% of planned Moderna COVID-19 vaccine supplies were available in Japan as of the end of June after the original 40 million doses were reduced to 13.7 million, administrative reform minister Taro Kono, who is overseeing the country's vaccine rollout, revealed on July 6.
Kono explained, "The decision was made in consultation with Moderna Inc., as global demand for its vaccine is extremely high."
As for when the plan was changed, he said, "I don't remember exactly, but I think it was sometime before the 'Golden Week' holiday" from late April to early May.
However, Kono indicated that the decreased amount in the initial plan is expected to be supplied in the third quarter ending Sept. 30, and stressed that it will not affect the overall plan of "50 million doses by the end of September." He denied any connection between the change of plans and delays in workplace vaccinations, saying, "There is no relevance at all."