“I think our recombinant protein vaccine, method wise, has more accumulated data on efficacy and safety than the novel methods,” Teshirogi said.
Newer methodologies like mRNA vaccines may end up being the solution, “but as of today, we don’t know anything,” he said.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to provide enough vaccine for the populace by mid-2021, and Japan has struck deals for hundreds of millions of doses with companies including AstraZeneca Plc and Pfizer Inc.
Shionogi has received about $400 million from the Japanese government for its COVID-19 vaccine production.
But the world will need several different vaccines to fight the pandemic, given the sheer size of global demand, effects on different populations, and possible limits of effectiveness in the first vaccines.
Teshirogi said holding the postponed Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2021 is “still possible,” but it will depend more on high-rapid-diagnostic testing and logistics than vaccines.
“Receiving the vaccine is not a so-called safe license,” he said. (Reporting by Rocky Swift in Tokyo; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Michael Perry)
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