Japan grants emergency approval for Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 pill

Japan’s Health Ministry on Thursday granted emergency approval for the use of the oral COVID-19 pill made by US drugmaker Pfizer, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.

The drug, Paxlovid, will be used to treat people with mild symptoms of the coronavirus.

Last December, Japanese authorities also approved American Merck & Co’s molnupiravir oral drug for the treatment of the coronavirus.

Japan is witnessing a sixth wave of COVID-19 driven by the omicron variant, with the government extending the quasi-state of emergency in 13 provinces until March.

The country has already agreed with the Japanese arm of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to procure enough of the drug for 2 million people within the year. Following the ministry's approval, the government will initially secure enough for 40,000 people.

Japan has reported more than 3.56 million COVID-19 cases, including 19,742 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.


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