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A hospital worker in Ishikawa Prefecture who has received two vaccine shots was confirmed Sunday as having later been infected with the novel coronavirus, in the first case of its kind in Japan, as 2,777 daily cases were reported nationwide, with Tokyo and Osaka continuing to see a rebound.

Japan will begin administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to older citizens in some areas Monday, the second priority group after medical workers, whose inoculations started in February. A total of 97,500 shots will be initially distributed thinly across all of the nation’s 47 prefectures.

After a slow start, Japan should secure enough doses for all its elderly people by the end of June, Japan’s vaccine czar said. The nation’s medicine regulator also said last week that modified vaccines targeting new variants won’t require domestic trials if the production process and handling of the shots are similar to the original authorized vaccine, Osamu Tsukimori reports.

Coronavirus priority preventive measures to be expanded to Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN
Coronavirus priority preventive measures to be expanded to Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has approved stricter measures to stamp out soaring coronavirus cases for Tokyo, Okinawa and Kyoto — effective Monday — as variants pose a fresh threat to a public already frazzled by monthslong restrictions, Satoshi Sugiyama reports.

The measures are already in place in Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures. Osaka Prefecture reported a record 918 new coronavirus cases Saturday, a day after the national cumulative number of cases breached half a million. Yet transport hubs in big cities across Japan remained busy over the weekend, with many apparently ignoring the semi-emergency measures.

Sunday’s (and last Sunday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (50 or over): Osaka 760 (593), Tokyo 421 (355), Hyogo 229 (211), Saitama 139 (135), Kanagawa 132 (142), Aichi 129 (116), Chiba 98 (124), Okinawa 93 (96), Kyoto 81 (63), Miyagi 72 (80), Hokkaido 69 (53), Nara 66 (40), Fukuoka 52 (27). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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