What was meant to be a few weeks spent at home in the spring stretched into an abysmally long and arduous period of standstills as the Covid-19 coronavirus continues to spread. While many cities have seen lower rates of new infections compared to earlier this year, everyone was forced to adopt a new normal for the long term to deal with the pandemic.
In order to help fight the virus, Japan is working with international pharmaceutical companies to procure an effective vaccine as soon as possible. Though there are several possible vaccines under development, they still need to undergo extensive clinical trials to be deemed viable.
According to The Japan Times, the Japanese government is considering making Covid-19 vaccination free for all residents once it becomes available. The vaccine may be funded by the current fiscal-year budget, and priority will be given to medical workers, the elderly and high-risk individuals.
Free vaccination would mean everyone could be treated and business would resume as usual. However, the state of a possible vaccine is still too early to tell. Seeing as there is no available data to support its effectiveness at this point in time, a few government officials have opposed the notion of free distribution.
According to a Mainichi Shimbun report, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said that discussions are still underway and the final decision on the free vaccination programme will depend on the nature of the treatment.
Stay updated on the Covid-19 situation in Japan here.
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