A hot topic these days is the Covid-19 vaccine. Japan got off to a slow start but vaccinations for the general public have now started. Let’s see where we’re at.
Total doses given: About 5.5 million, which is between 4-5% of the population.
The US vaccine Moderna and the British Vaccine AstraZeneca have passed the first round of approval for those 18+, although they are considering using AstraZeneca only for the elderly due to the blood clot risk. The two vaccines are expected to be fully approved within the week.
The government is in discussion on the issuance of vaccine certificates, but are said to be waiting to see what criteria foreign countries require for said certificates.
From May 24th mass vaccination centres will open in Tokyo and Osaka, operated by the Self-Defense Force. Other regions such as Aichi and Gunma plan to do the same. The Moderna vaccine will be offered at these centres. There has been a massive response in the call for doctors to administer the vaccine, possibly due to the payout of 120,000 yen per 6 hour shift. So far doctors, nurses and dentists will be involved, with a possibility of pharmacists also being allowed to administer the vaccine in the future.
So far only those aged over 65 are eligible, and some people have had difficulty reserving an appointment due to the huge demand. So as for when younger people will get their vaccine – it will take more time. Many foreigners have been opting to fly back to their home country solely for the vaccine.