• Kyodo

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Japan has administered COVID-19 vaccines to more than 10 million people, the Prime Minister’s Office said Wednesday, as the country tries to speed up inoculations that are lagging far behind other developed countries.

A total of 4,653,566 medical personnel and 5,734,023 people aged 65 and over had received at least one shot of vaccine as of Tuesday, equivalent to 8% of the country’s population of 126 million.

Facing criticism for the slow coronavirus vaccine rollout, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has called for administering up to 1 million doses nationwide per day after mid-June and finishing vaccinations of people aged 65 and over by the end of July.

To help accelerate the pace, the government has set up mass inoculation centers in Tokyo and Osaka, operated by the Self-Defense Forces, to administer a combined total of up to 15,000 jabs per day.

Universities and companies are also preparing to start on-site vaccinations of younger age groups later this month.

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