Japan is racing to vaccinate most of its elderly population before the start of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23. The cities of Tokyo and Osaka plan on vaccinating thousands of people every day, in order to give a boost to Japan’s sluggish inoculation drive as the country battles a fourth wave of coronavirus infections. When asked about this, Tetsuya Urano said, “It’s better to get it early. It went pretty smoothly, all in all.”

Japan must start to speed up this process, as just 4.4% of their population of 125 million have received at least one vaccine dose. This is the slowest rate amongst first world countries. Luckily for them, the Tokyo inoculation facility will operate 12 hours a day, with a plan to dispense shots to 10,000 people daily for the next three months. In Osaka, 5,000 shots a day will be dispensed.

The Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, called for the centers last month to speed up the vaccination rollout, due to the fourth wave of infections. The Olympics are scheduled for July 23, so there is moderate concern that the country won’t be equipped enough to handle the influx of people into the country. Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura, whose region has been among the hardest hit in the current wave, told reporters he would decide on whether to request an extension of the emergency on Tuesday.

These actions come months after Japan began its inoculation push, which occurred in the middle of February. This was later than most major economies around the globe. The mass vaccination centers for the elderly are using the Moderna vaccine, which was approved along with AstraZeneca PLC’s shot.

On Monday, Johnson & Johnson said it had filed for regulatory approval of its one-shot vaccine and it could begin supplying the country in early 2022.

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