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Japan has successfully developed a vaccine for COVID-19 called Avigan.

Avigan may potentially have an antiviral effect on the new coronavirus and its clinical application to treat COVID-19 is in Phase III of trials.

A post claiming that Japan has successfully made a vaccine drug for COVID-19 called Avigan and they are currently waiting for its approval, went viral on social media. However, this is not true. On March 31, 2020, Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd. announced that it had initiated the Phase III clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of influenza antiviral drug 'Avigan Tablet'.

Avigan Tablet was approved for manufacture and sale in Japan in 2014 as an influenza antiviral drug. It has a mechanism of action for selectively inhibiting RNA polymerase involved in influenza viral replication. Due to this mechanism, it is expected that Avigan may potentially have an antiviral effect on the new coronavirus as it is classified into the same type of single-stranded RNA virus like influenza, and its clinical application to treat COVID-19 is now under study. According to the World Health Organisation, to this day, there is no vaccine for the treatment of the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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