Flu Vaccine Supply Seen to Be Delayed in Japan

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Tokyo, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)--Influenza vaccines are expected to be supplied at a slower pace in Japan this season than a year before due in part to a worldwide shortage of ingredients, health ministry officials have said.

Although Japan did not see a seasonal flu outbreak last year, some experts are concerned that novel coronavirus and flu infections may spread simultaneously this winter. They are calling on people to receive flu vaccine shots and implement thorough infection prevention measures.

According to the ministry, flu shots for around 51.3 million to 55.8 million people will be supplied in the country this season. The total amount of flu vaccines to be supplied this season is expected to be less than that last season, but to be roughly the same as in the usual year.

Approximately 14,000 people are estimated to have caught flu last season, compared with 10 million to 20 million in an average year and fewer than one-500th of some 7,285,000 in the 2019-2020 season. The National Institute of Infectious Diseases has concluded that a flu outbreak did not occur in Japan last winter.

On the other hand, experts are finding it difficult to predict whether flu will sweep over the country this season.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press