Japan Begins Coronavirus Vaccinations for Elderly

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, April 12 (Jiji Press)--Japan started to inoculate elderly people against the new coronavirus on Monday, aiming to complete the vaccinations of senior citizens, the second priority group after medical workers, by the end of June.

The program covers some 36 million people aged 65 or over, including those who will turn 65 during the current fiscal year through March 2022, using a vaccine developed by major U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc.

As only some municipalities have received supplies of the vaccine, inoculations of elderly citizens kicked off in limited areas, including the city of Hachioji in Tokyo, on Monday. The elderly vaccination program is expected to move into full swing in early May.

Inoculations of elderly people, with the high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms, are expected to help improve the situation at medical institutions under strain amid the coronavirus crisis.

On April 5, the Japanese government started distributing the vaccine to the country's 47 prefectures, planning to deliver at least one box, which contains 975 doses, to each municipality by May 2 and complete the supplies by the end of June. Each person needs to get the vaccine twice, at intervals of three weeks.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press