Japan's health ministry approved a coronavirus vaccine produced by Daiichi Sankyo Co., the company said Wednesday, the first time the country has authorized a domestically developed vaccine for COVID-19.

Photo shows a coronavirus vaccine produced by Daiichi Sankyo Co. (Photo courtesy of Daiichi Sankyo Co.)(Kyodo)

The drug maker has no plan to release the messenger RNA vaccine "Daichirona," which is tailored for strains that spread during the initial stages of the pandemic. It is now developing another vaccine in response to the highly contagious XBB Omicron subvariant, aiming to start supplying it this year.

The government plans to introduce vaccines targeting XBB in inoculations from September.

The approval of Daichirona by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare comes after its panel of experts endorsed the vaccine at a meeting on Monday.

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Japan to approve first domestically made COVID-19 vaccine