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An increasing number of universities with medical faculty are applying for a government program to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for students and faculty members.

While universities are accelerating preparations to start inoculations in order to resume normal college life, institutions without medical staff are struggling to secure people who can give vaccine shots.

Hiroshima University will start vaccinations for students and others on June 21 in cooperation with the municipal government of Higashihiroshima.

"We're also considering starting inoculations for local residents," an official of the university said.

Tohoku University has already set up a vaccination center at a commercial facility in Sendai in cooperation with the prefectural and city governments. The university will start giving shots for students on June 21 using the center.

Keio University in Tokyo, which has three medical faculties, will also start inoculating students and others on June 21.

"We will regain our campus life, which has been under strict restrictions since April last year, and activate class and research environments and all kinds of extracurricular activities," Keio University President Kohei Ito said in a video message.

Kindai University in Osaka Prefecture, which will also start giving shots to students on June 21, said that it "aims to fully resume face-to-face classes."

Some universities are working together in local areas to carry out inoculations.

Hirosaki University in Aomori Prefecture is set to give vaccine shots to students and others in cooperation with four nearby schools, including Hirosaki Gakuin University.

Kobe University in Hyogo Prefecture has decided to offer vaccinations for students of Kobe Shoin Women's University.

Meanwhile, universities without medical faculty, and small institutions are struggling to secure people who can administer vaccine doses.

"We're still considering (our response) as we face the challenge of securing doctors and other medical personnel," an official of Waseda University in Tokyo said.

An official from Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Hokkaido also pointed to the difficulty of securing medical personnel. "We'll use various channels to ask for help," the official said.

An official from Toyohashi University of Technology in Aichi Prefecture said it has no prospects of finding medical workers.

Last Tuesday, the education ministry told universities considering providing vaccinations under the government's workplace vaccination program, under which vaccine shots will be given to employees at corporations and students and faculty members at universities aged 18 and older, to consider allowing students and faculty members of other universities and local residents to get vaccinated.

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