Japan Starts COVID-19 Vaccinations

Japan Starts COVID-19 Vaccinations

Feb. 18, 2021, 7:17 a.m.

Coronavirus vaccinations are underway in Japan. About 40,000 healthcare workers will receive the jab in the first phase of the rollout.

The director at Tokyo Medical Center was the first person in the country to receive the shot. Araki Kazuhiro said, "I think the vaccine is the trump card in the coronavirus pandemic. If data from our shots is analyzed and used by public health officials, I would be very grateful."

About 800 staff members of the hospital will be inoculated in the initial round. After the shots, the recipients will be monitored for 15 minutes. There have been no reports of any severe reactions so far.

The head nurse at Tokyo Medical Center said, "I think it will be great if I can work without feeling anxious for myself, or for society, so I am relieved that I'm vaccinated and can be part of this first step."

Healthcare workers at 100 hospitals across Japan are receiving Pfizer's vaccine.

The government will analyze data from the first 20,000 recipients to check for side effects.

The inoculations will eventually be expanded to about 3.7 million medical workers and then to elderly people.

President of Japan Medical Association, Nakagawa Toshio, said, "We should bring down the number of new infections as much as possible before the nationwide vaccination rollout. That will pave the way for getting the virus under control."

Health authorities across Japan reported more than 1,400 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, with 79 deaths. Six-hundred seven people are currently in serious condition.

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