Japan to Start Vaccination Drive-by Late February: Prime Minister Suga

Tokyo: Japan is planning to launch the COVID-19 vaccination drive by late February, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday. “The government is preparing to start vaccination, if possible, by the end of February, while continuing to study safety and effectiveness of vaccines”, Suga announced at a press conference.

The country has agreements with Pfizer/BioNTech for 120 million vaccine doses, UK-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for another 120 million doses, and US company Moderna for 150 million doses.

The Japanese health minister also reported that once the coronavirus vaccine gets authorization in the country, which is likely to occur in February, a total of 10,000 medical front-liners could be the first batch in the country to receive the coronavirus vaccine. This will be followed by the remaining healthcare in the middle of March and the elder, later in the same month.

It has been declared that starting from April, people with chronic cardiovascular diseases, including diseases of kidneys lungs liver, oncology patients as well as people with serious medical conditions will also receive the shots. The rest of Japan, however, could expect the vaccine to be available from April onwards.

The Japanese parliament passed a bill in early December, to make the vaccination against the coronavirus free for the residents of Japan.

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