Japanese expatriates temporarily returning to their home country will begin receiving vaccinations against the novel coronavirus starting on Aug. 1, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday.
Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine will be available to returning expats at Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in response to concerns among Japanese nationals over being vaccinated overseas.
The government will open up a special website for the inoculation program in July and start accepting reservations.
Although many people around the world have already received coronavirus vaccines, inoculations have been slow in developing nations.
There have also been concerns over the safety of vaccines other than those developed by major U.S. and British drugmakers that have been approved by the Japanese government.
In a survey taken by the Foreign Ministry covering Japanese expats living in 169 countries and regions, around 40,000 people said they want to be vaccinated.
Many expats said that they want to receive injections in Japan, Motegi said at a news conference.
The new program will allow such people to be vaccinated during the Bon summer holiday season in August as well as at other times, he added.
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