Japan Diet Enacts Bill for Free COVID-19 Vaccinations

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, on Wednesday enacted a bill to offer free vaccinations against the novel coronavirus.

The bill to revise the vaccination law was approved at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet. It cleared the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, last month.

Under the revised law, the central government will shoulder costs for COVID-19 vaccinations while vaccination programs will be implemented by municipal governments. The law also allows the state to conclude contracts with drugmakers so that possible compensation payments over health problems from the vaccinations will be made by the government for the makers.

The law includes a provision obliging citizens in principle to make efforts for getting vaccinated against the coronavirus. But the provision will not go into effect unless the effectiveness and safety of vaccines are fully confirmed.

Aiming to secure COVID-19 vaccines for all citizens by the end of June 2021, the Japanese government has agreed with U.S. drugmakers Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., and AstraZenec PLC of Britain to buy vaccines for a total of more than 145 million people from the firms.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press