Strategy proposed for domestic vaccine development

A Japanese government committee has put together recommendations for a long-term strategy for the development of vaccines domestically.

Officials from relevant ministries and research organizations met to discuss strengthening vaccine development and production in Japan. The country lags behind the United States and European nations in the field.

The committee calls for setting up top-level research and development centers for advanced studies, and a government scheme to strategically distribute research funds.

The officials said networks for clinical research should be expanded in Asia so that large-scale clinical trials can be conducted smoothly.
They also proposed that the central government consider buying up vaccines developed by private companies in the case of outbreaks of new infectious diseases.

The government aims to approve a long-term strategy at a Cabinet meeting early next month, based on the recommendations.

After the meeting, Science and Technology Policy Minister Inoue Shinji said the development of vaccines within Japan is an important matter closely connected to the health of the nation's people and national security. He stressed the government's determination to move swiftly.