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Technical problems derailed Japan’s coronavirus vaccination booking system Wednesday, compounding frustration over an inoculation drive slammed as woefully slow, Reuters reports.

While many areas have started accepting vaccination reservations from older residents, some local governments have been thrown into confusion by a flood of applications. One expert recommends assigning appointments by lot to avoid more chaos.

Firms offering to book appointments on behalf of those with vaccine tickets have sprung up, some of which appear to be fraudulent. And on Tuesday, the deputy mayor of a Aichi city apologized for a thwarted bid to let a pharmacy chain chief jump the queue.

Two doses of Pfizer vaccine effective for coronavirus variants
 | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN
Two doses of Pfizer vaccine effective for coronavirus variants | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN

Although the huge task of vaccinating older people has only just begun, the government is already looking into allowing 12-to-15-year-olds to be inoculated, given the spread of infections among young people.

On a more positive note, a study released Wednesday showed that 90% of 105 subjects who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine had developed antibodies against the seven COVID-19 variants detected in Japan so far.

The problem, though, remains getting shots into arms. As the rollout lags, the government is now reportedly considering creating a system whereby drugs could be used in emergencies ahead of domestic clinical trials, Tomohiro Osaki reports.

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