Japan Begins Coronavirus Vaccinations for Elderly

Society Lifestyle

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. The age group makes up some 30 pct of the country's population.

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

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

According to the health ministry, vaccine administration began at over 100 locations, including hospitals and care homes for elderly people, on Monday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press