Japan COVID-19 Vaccine Priority List to Include Mentally Ill

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Tokyo, March 18 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government plans to include people with severe mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities in a priority list for COVID-19 vaccinations, health ministry officials said Thursday.

This is because overseas research show that such people carry a higher risk of death from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by novel coronavirus infection. The plan was approved at Thursday’s Health Sciences Council expert committee meeting.

Some 2.1 million people, including in-patients and people who have mental disability or rehabilitation certificates, are expected to join the list.

Japan’s coronavirus vaccination program began on Feb. 17, with medical workers becoming the first group to be vaccinated.

Vaccinations are slated to start on April 12 for people aged 65 or older and later for people with underlying conditions, such as respiratory and heart diseases.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press