• Kyodo, Jiji

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Over 70% of Japan’s population has been fully inoculated against COVID-19, government data showed Tuesday, ranking the country among the top three in the Group of Seven (G7) nations after an initially slow vaccine rollout.

Of Japan’s population of 125 million, 70.1% had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the government.

Once vaccinations for people other than medical workers and priority groups started in April, the vaccine rollout in Japan has been progressing steadily. Other G7 members, such as the United States and Britain, were initially far ahead of Japan in inoculating their populations but have seen their vaccination rates slow after reaching 60%.

The inoculation rate in Japan is now almost on par with Italy, which is second only to Canada, where 72.65% of the total population had been vaccinated as of Oct. 16.

Among people aged 65 and over in Japan, 90.4% had been fully vaccinated as of Monday, compared with 60.8% of people in their 30s, 57.0% in their 20s and 47.7% of those between the ages of 12 and 19.

A total of 185.98 million doses have been administered in the country, with 76.7% of the population having received at least one dose, the data showed.

The Japanese government has set a goal of finishing a second vaccine shot for everyone who hopes to be vaccinated in early November. It plans to start administering a third dose to medical workers as soon as December.

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