The chief of Japan's COVID-19 vaccination program on Wednesday denied media reports that vaccinations for the general public may start in May, as the country battles a third wave that has brought record numbers of infections and serious cases.

Media, including public broadcaster NHK, cited an anonymous source close to the government as saying vaccinations could reach the public as soon as May.

"Oh no, NHK, please don't go around making vaccination rollout schedules like that. It's bogus," administrative reform minister Taro Kono, who was selected to spearhead the vaccine rollout this week, said on Twitter.