Therapy Areas: Vaccines
Japan commences COVID-19 vaccinations for over 65s
12 April 2021 -

With a fourth wave of COVID-19 expected, Japan has started COVID-19 vaccinations for people aged 65 and above, at about 120 sites, Reuters news agency reported on Monday.

However, imported doses are reportedly still in short supply and the vaccination rollout is not expected to curb a fourth wave of infections in Japan.

Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine made in Europe, the only shot approved by domestic regulators, has been delivered to the regions in the past week and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he expected to secure some 100 million vaccine doses by the end of June, more than enough to give two doses to the elderly population of 36 million.

According to a health ministry schedule, just 2,810 people in Tokyo are expected to get a shot from the first batch, while most regions will receive 1,000 doses or fewer. Japan's rapidly ageing population totals 126 million.

Haruka Sakamoto, a physician and researcher at Keio University in Tokyo, was quoted as saying that shots for the general populace are not likely to be available until the late summer or even winter, too late to stem a resurgence of cases that appears to be focused on people in their 30s and 40s.