Japan Opens Mass Vaccination Centers Ahead of Games

Andy Berg Headshot

As it prepares to host the already delayed Olympic Games in July, Japan has opened mass vaccination clinics to ensure as much of its population as possible is protected against COVID-19.

Japan this week opened centers in Tokyo, Osaka and other cities with the hope of vaccinating thousands of people every day.

“It’s better to get it early,” Tetsuya Urano, 66, who was among the first to be vaccinated in the Japanese capital, told Aljazeera

The Tokyo facility will be staffed by military doctors and nurses and will aim to operate 12 hours per day and dispense shots to 10,000 people daily for the next three months./p>

“If 80-90 percent of the population gets vaccinated, I think we can hold the Olympics smoothly,” said Munemitsu Watanabe, a 71-year-old office worker who got his first shot at the Tokyo center.

The centers as Japan deals with a fourth wave of the virus. Tokyo and nine other areas in the country are under states of emergency that is due to end on May 31.

The Guardian on Monday reported a poll showing that 80 percent of respondents want the Olympics cancelled but that the government and the International Olympic Committee insist the event can be held safely.

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