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Japanese regulatory reform minister Taro Kono said Saturday he plans to make sure that COVID-19 vaccinations given at workplaces under a government program will not be concentrated in major cities.

Kono, who is in charge of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, made the comment as he discussed how the government will handle the applications for workplace vaccinations filed by companies and universities.

The government temporarily stopped accepting new applications on Friday due to a potential supply shortage for U.S. biotechnology firm Moderna Inc.’s vaccine used in the vaccination program.

Currently, workplace vaccinations are concentrated in urban areas such as the Tokyo metropolitan area, the Kansai area, the central prefecture of Aichi and the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka, Kono told reporters in Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, where he visited a vaccination venue.

“We’ll examine the applications we have received so far and do our best for early start of vaccinations,” Kono said, promising to check the regional distribution of vaccines offered by municipalities or at workplaces.

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