After some false starts, Japan’s much-delayed vaccine rollout is quietly picking up steam.

The seven-day average of doses has quadrupled in just two weeks, with about a quarter of the nearly 14 million shots given coming in the past week alone. A flurry of initiatives are being implemented or floated to further ramp up the drive — among them an expansion of those qualified to administer the shots as well as mass vaccination at workplaces and in "nighttime entertainment” districts.

Japan has faced criticism for the pace of its inoculation drive, which on paper began in February but struggled to get off the ground until last month. Facing initial uncertainties over supplies, shortages of medical personnel, and burdened by a decentralized medical system, it seemed as if the campaign would take years. Japan’s strict approval process that required local clinical trials for foreign vaccines also added to the delay in the rollout.