Japan Inoculates 1,139 Seniors on Day One

TOKYO – A total of 1,139 senior citizens were vaccinated against COVID-19 on the first day of Japan’s inoculation program for the elderly people, the health ministry said.

Inoculations for 36 million people aged 65 and older in the country began on Monday using the novel coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE.

“The vaccination proceeded very efficiently. Thanks to the cooperation of the vaccinated people and the efforts of the doctors, local government officials and staff at the site,” Prime  Minister Yoshihide Suga said in a tweet after visiting a vaccination site in Hachioji City.

Japan aims to complete the vaccinations of senior citizens by the end of June.

However, earlier the same day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a press conference that the actual timing of vaccination depends on prefectures and municipalities “because they have their own plans on vaccination.” But he assured that “the central government will continue to support municipalities to ensure smooth vaccination.” - Florenda Corpuz

(Photo courtesy of Pfizer Japan Inc.)