• Jiji


Japan has administered more than 10 million COVID-19 vaccine shots since its vaccination program began in February, according to the government.

While large-scale vaccination venues are being set up around the country, the daily number of vaccinations is around 400,000, far lower than the target of 1 million shots set by the government to complete inoculating people age 65 or older by the end of July.

Based on reports received by Wednesday, the government says that a total of 10,595,100 jabs had been administered.

Of the total, around 7.1 million shots were administered to medical workers, the first priority group, and 3.5 million shots to older people, the second priority group.

Only 2.8 million medical workers and 200,000 older people have received their second shots.

This means that over 40% of medical workers have yet to complete their inoculations more than three months after the vaccinations of such people began on Feb. 17.

At the mass vaccination sites run by the Self-Defense Forces, which opened on Monday in Tokyo and Osaka Prefecture, the maximum daily capacity is 10,000 shots and 5,000 shots, respectively.

According to the health ministry, large-scale venues had also opened in the prefectures of Miyagi, Gunma and Aichi as of Thursday.

Many other local governments are also considering or preparing for similar sites.

The number of daily vaccinations in the country began to exceed 100,000 in late April and reached 400,000 on May 18. Some 420,000 jabs were administered on Wednesday.

Despite the increase following the full-fledged start of vaccinations of older people, Japan has not reached even half of its target of 1 million shots per day.

Some 3.3 million people age 65 or over have received their first jab, under 10% of the roughly 36 million such people eligible for the vaccinations.

In order to complete two-shot vaccinations for the elderly within the next two months, it would be necessary to increase the average daily number of shots to more than 1 million.

Municipalities are struggling to secure medical workers that can administer vaccines.

The central government plans to allow paramedics and clinical laboratory technicians to administer jabs. But it will remain unclear whether its vaccination program will progress as scheduled.

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