Japan MOF Proposes End to Free COVID-19 Vaccinations

Politics Health

Tokyo, Nov. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Ministry of Finance proposed Monday that an advisory panel for the finance minister consider the idea of ending free-of-charge coronavirus vaccinations.

The Fiscal System Council working group should discuss making citizens shoulder part of costs for vaccinations against the novel coronavirus as they do for seasonal influenza vaccine shots to curb the government's social security-linked spending, MOF officials said at a meeting of the group.

According to the ministry, Japan's free COVID-19 vaccination program covers a wider part of the population for a greater number of doses than those of other countries including its Group of Seven counterparts.

In fiscal 2021, which ended in March, 2,339.6 billion yen was paid to procure vaccines and to medical facilities under the program, with each shot costing around 9,600 yen.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference the same day that ending the free inoculations is something to be considered in the future and that it does not contradict with the government's current vaccination drive.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press