Japan to open large-scale vaccination centers in Tokyo and Osaka

Government authorities in Japan are reportedly planning to open large vaccination sites in Tokyo and Osaka in the upcoming weeks, aiming to expedite the country’s inoculation drive.

It has been reported that the government will open a center for vaccination in central Tokyo as early as May. This center, which will be open for anyone working and living in Tokyo, will reportedly vaccinate around 10,000 people per day. Medically trained staff from the country’s Self-Defense Forces are also expected to assist with inoculations at such sites.

Japan has apparently prevented an explosive spread of the virus as experienced by several other countries. However, the government is facing strong criticism for slower roll-out of vaccination, which has been managed mainly by the municipal authorities. According to the credible sources, only around 1% of Japan’s population has been vaccinated.

A recent rise in infections caused by the spread of a variant seemed to have created an alarming situation. Serious shortage of hospital beds and medical staff is also being observed in certain areas.

The country has only started vaccination for its large elderly population this month. Health experts have suggested that it might take till winter or longer for most of the general population to get vaccinated.

Speaking on the matter, Health Minister Norihisa Tamura stated that if the government authorities were able to secure sufficient shots to vaccinate the elderly by July end, inoculations for the residents aged below 65 years could begin that month. 

Reportedly, the country’s third state of emergency across Tokyo, Osaka and other two prefectures started on Sunday (25 April). It affected around a quarter of Japan’s population as the country strives to combat the rise in cases three months prior to the Tokyo Olympics.

For the records, Japan has recorded nearly 550,000 cases of coronavirus and 9,761 deaths till date.

Source credits: https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/japan-open-large-vaccination-centers-tokyo-osaka-media-2021-04-25/