Japan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive; healthcare workers among first to get Pfizer shots

covid-19 vaccine

Japan started its COVID-19 inoculation drive on Wednesday with director of the Tokyo Medical Centre being given the country’s first Pfizer shot. The country will first vaccinate its healthcare professionals, followed by people aged 65 or above. 

To immunize its population, Japan is relying on COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech that uses DNA information from the coronavirus, said the media reports. Also Read: UNICEF signs airfreight agreement with 15 airlines to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines delivery

Though the vaccination is not made mandatory in Japan, the government will make efforts to immunize all aged 16 and above. However, it is likely to take more than a year to inoculate Japan’s 126 million population. Further, shortage of syringes may delay the country’s vaccination drive. 

As per media reports, Japan has signed contracts to procure a combined total of 314 million doses, which will be enough to cover 157 million people. Also Read: India vaccinates 80 lakh beneficiaries against COVID-19 in 28 days

So far, Japan has recorded about 415,000 COVID-19 cases, including 7,013 deaths.

Also Read: COVID-19 pandemic: Learn to live with coronavirus as new variant is on course to ‘sweep the world’

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