Read his lips: Everyone who wants COVID-19 vaccinations will have had their jabs come November.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made that promise Wednesday as his administration seeks to reassure the public that the pandemic’s end is near in Japan ahead of a looming general election, Satoshi Sugiyama reports.

On Tuesday, the vaccination rollout received another boost as major companies and universities filed for permission to vaccinate staff and students at more than 400 workplaces and campuses. Olympics minister Tamayo Marukawa said the same day that officials hope to vaccinate all 70,000 volunteers who registered to help at the games before they actually start.

Government mass vaccination center in Tokyo shown to media | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN
Government mass vaccination center in Tokyo shown to media | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN

But despite being at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of crowded conditions, it’s still unclear when prison inmates will get their shots. The Justice Ministry wants them vaccinated ASAP, but local authorities have government-set deadlines to meet on the outside.

With daily new case counts falling almost everywhere, the government confirmed Wednesday that three of the eight prefectures under quasi-emergency measures are on course to have the designation lifted June 20.

Yesterday’s (and last Wednesday’s) new COVID-19 cases nationwide: 2,212 (3,036). By prefecture (60 or over; bold indicates rise over last week): Tokyo 440 (487), Aichi 247 (287), Kanagawa 202 (218), Hokkaido 179 (317), Okinawa 174 (297), Osaka 153 (213), Saitama 121 (132), Chiba 106 (109), Fukuoka 66 (116), Hyogo 64 (104), Kyoto 64 (62). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker