Japan steps up COVID-19 vaccination at workplaces & universities

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato has said the country will start vaccination for COVID-19 at work premises and universities beginning on June 21.
By: | June 3, 2021

This is to speed up Japan’s inoculation programme, he said, adding that the start date could even be brought forward should the current vaccination of those aged 65 and above be completed ahead of schedule by the end of July. 

The increase in the number of vaccination venues is to “reduce the burden on local communities and accelerate the pace of inoculation,” Kato said. The two-dose Moderna vaccine will be used. 

The announcement came one day after two state-run mass inoculation centres manned by Self-Defense Forces personnel in Tokyo and Osaka started full operations, reaching their respective targets of a maximum of 10,000 and 5,000 jabs daily. 

Companies and universities will decide on who gets to be vaccinated, Kato said. Family members of employees are likely to be eligible, with the elderly and those with underlying conditions to be given priority. 

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Kato added that companies and universities will be in charge of getting their own medical personnel to give the jabs. The lack of doctors and nurses to vaccinate people is one of the main factors slowing down Japan’s inoculation programme, which is lagging behind other developed countries, according to Kyodo News.