Japan’s vaccination policy has taken a small step forward. The fiscal 2010 supplementary budget approved by the Diet in late November includes some ¥108.5 billion to financially help local governments subsidize the costs of inoculation with three types of vaccines: one to prevent haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), another against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervix cancer, and a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), which prevents pneumonia in children.

The measure covers a period through the end of March 2012. The central government will shoulder half of the subsidies for inoculation with the three types of vaccines. The remaining half will be shouldered by municipalities. A total of some ¥217 billion of public money will be used to promote the vaccinations.

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