09:02 GMT25 February 2021
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - The power outages caused by the recent earthquake in Japan did not affect the safe storage of COVID-19 vaccines at the required temperature, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said on Sunday.

    "Storage is carried out at the required temperatures", Kato told reporters when asked if power shortages made any impact on the storage of the doses.

    Japan received 400,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine on Friday, and the Health Ministry is set to formally greenlight its use days after the government’s health panel approved it.

    The health panel has approved Pfizer’s vaccine for all people over 16 years old. The vaccination is expected to start on Wednesday and 20,000 health workers who agreed to take part in a study to track any potential side effects will be the first to receive shots.

    A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck northeastern Japan on Saturday evening. The natural disaster led to over 100 injuries, mostly in the Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, while nearly one million households were left without electricity. The blackouts were mostly resolved by Sunday morning.

    Tags:
    Pfizer, vaccine, Fukushima, Earthquake, power outages, power outage, coronavirus, COVID-19, Japan
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