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Japan Health Ministry says it has approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

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TOKYO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Japan's Health Ministry said onSunday it has officially approved Pfizer Inc's COVID-19vaccine, the first such approval in the country as it steps upefforts to tame a third wave of infections in the run-up to theSummer Olympic Games.

The move had been widely expected after a government panelrecommended approval on Friday, at which point Health MinisterNorihisa Tamura said Japan would give its final approval as soonas possible.(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Elaine Lies; Editing byKenneth Maxwell)