Vaccination Rates Remain Low in Japan
Despite the plans to hold the Olympics in just a few weeks, the vaccination process in Japan has remained sluggish.
The Japanese government has obtained enough doses to fully vaccinate all residents (including foreign residents), however there have been a number of factors stalling the delivery of any shots:
- Delay in vaccine doses being delivered by Pfizer and Moderna to Japanese medical institutions
- Strict rules limiting vaccine administration to only licensed medical professionals (finally extended to dental professionals last month)
- Government concerns that large-scale public vaccination centers could sap resources from the preparation for the Olympic games
As per the NHK article that you can access by clicking below, 70% of medical care workers have been fully vaccinated and roughly 20% of the elderly have received a single dose. But we don’t expect that any reservations will be possible for the general public under age 65 until much later in July.
Once an individual is qualified to obtain a vaccination, an appointment is required. The process of making an appointment for a shot is convoluted. Applicants must wait with for the local authorities to deliver a vaccine “ticket” by post, then complete a detailed questionnaire and wait for a slot to open at an authorized vaccination center or clinic.
The slow and cumbersome process move onwards, however it is likely that a large percentage of the expat population will have to wait until well after the Olympics are finished before they have any chance of getting shots in their arms.
The following Japan Times article has more information about the actual reservation process: