Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Friday apologized for the day’s early closure of the reception desk at a new reservation-free COVID-19 vaccination center for young people due to a flood of applicants.
“We apologize to people who could not get shots,” Koike told a regular news conference.
The vaccination center was launched near Tokyo’s Shibuya Station on Friday. But it was force to close its reception desk at 7:30 a.m. after the number of applicants quickly reached the daily limit of 300.
As a result, many of those who had lined up could not get inoculations.
On Saturday, the center began distributing lottery tickets between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and was to announce the winning numbers via social media at 11:30 a.m.
“Given that so many people gathered, young people are very highly motivated to be inoculated,” Koike said, adding that three more inoculation sites for young people, which require reservations, will be established in Tokyo.
Koike also said that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will set up a new so-called oxygen station for COVID-19 patients recovering at home who have requested ambulances, at the former site of the Tsukiji wholesale food market in Chuo Ward.
The site is currently being used as a base for Tokyo Paralympics-related vehicles.
The new station will have up to 200 beds after the Sept. 5 end of the Games. It is expected to accept patients with mild symptoms and provide antibody cocktail treatment, similar to an existing site in Shibuya Ward.
Koike said that the establishment of the additional oxygen station is “part of the efforts to respond to the medical emergency.”
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