Japan Fully Vaccinates Over 50 Percent of Population, Lifts COVID-19 State of Emergency

TOKYO – Ahead of Japan’s fourth novel coronavirus state of emergency expiration, the government has managed to fully vaccinate more than half of the eligible population.

Outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took to Twitter to announce the vaccination rate. “69 percent of all people finished vaccination once and 58 percent finished vaccination twice, surpassing the vaccination rate in the United States,” he said.

His announcement came as his administration on Tuesday decided to end the COVID-19 state of emergency in all prefectures on Sept. 30 as the number of new infections continue to drop.

He vowed to finish inoculating the people who wish to receive shots against the deadly virus by November.

Of the country’s population of around 125 million, 74,369,435 people, or 58.7 percent, had received two doses of a novel coronavirus vaccine, while 88,207,949, or 69.6 percent, had received at least one shot of the two-dose regimens, as of Tuesday.

Japan launched its inoculation program in mid-February for health workers and expanded to the elderly and later to the general public.

Nationwide, the number of new cases totaled 1,986 on Wednesday, falling below 2,000 for the third day in a row. - Florenda Corpuz

(Article cover photo: A man wearing a face mask walks past a signage of the mass novel coronavirus vaccination center in Tokyo’s Otemachi business district on July 15. Photo by Din Eugenio)