As recently as a month ago, the dominant narrative surrounding Japan’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout drive was that it was exceedingly sluggish. Now, it has evolved into something of a comeback story.

A raft of efforts by the central government to speed up the campaign have finally paid off over the past few weeks, bringing the nation ever closer to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s goal of administering 1 million shots a day by the end of July, an aspiration that at one time appeared to be a pipe dream.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Suga boasted about the “extremely fast” pace at which the rollout is currently proceeding, noting that 20 million people had received at least one dose of the vaccine so far.