Japan Looks to COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in February

TOKYO – Japan plans to start vaccinating people against the novel coronavirus at the end of February.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pointed out that vaccination is a decisive factor in Japan's disease control measures.

“We will commence vaccination by late February at latest. We have been making preparations, also in collaboration with local governments, to smoothly provide the vaccine to those who need it,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

Suga announced that Regulatory Reform Minister Kono Taro will lead the entire inoculation process in the country.

“I have instructed Minister Kono to handle our overall coordination. By doing so, we will do everything in our capacity to deliver safe and effective vaccines to the citizens,” he said.

The Japanese government aims to begin inoculations for medical and health professionals by the end of Feb., for elderly people in March, followed by those with underlying medical conditions.

Pfizer and BioNTech had applied to the Japanese Health Ministry last Dec. 18 to obtain a regulatory approval for the COVID-19 vaccine they developed called BNT162B2. - Florenda Corpuz

(Photo courtesy of Cabinet Public Relations Office, Cabinet Secretariat)