More than two months after the U.K. and the U.S., Japan finally embarked on an unprecedented coronavirus vaccination blitz Wednesday, marking the third rollout in East Asia after China and Macao.

Kazuhiro Araki, director of the state-run Tokyo Medical Center, on Wednesday morning was the first person in Japan to receive Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine. He is among the 40,000 health care workers who have been given top priority for vaccinations due to their higher risk of coronavirus infection. Half of them, including Araki, have been asked to write observation diaries for seven weeks as part of a government study.

“It wasn’t painful at all, so I feel relieved,” Araki told reporters after getting the shot. “This coronavirus vaccine is a trump card for the new coronavirus. I hope the inoculations will help protect against infections of hospital staff, patients, families and many other people so that we can provide medical care at ease.”