Covid-19 vaccine
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Japan to open large-scale Covid-19 vaccination centres in Tokyo and Osaka

Medically certified Self-Defense Forces personnel will be deployed at each centre to administer up to 10,000 vaccines a day

Emma Steen
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Emma Steen
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At a press conference on April 27, Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi confirmed that a large-scale vaccination centre that can inoculate up to 10,000 people a day will be opened in Tokyo. According to Kishi, medically certified Self-Defense Forces personnel will be delegated with the task of administering vaccines at the centre. The facility is currently scheduled to open in Otemachi on May 24. A similar centre will also open in central Osaka around the same time. 

Though residents must generally go to a designated medical centre within their municipality to receive the vaccine, The Japan Times reports that this new vaccination centre in Otemachi will likely be open to residents living outside the district as well. In order to get vaccinated, however, individuals must have a vaccination coupon that will be distributed to residents via post. 

While the free vaccine coupons have yet to go out to the general public, health minister Norihisa Tamura is aiming to begin vaccinating those under 65 from July. Earlier this month, Japan began administering vaccines to senior residents aged 65 and older. 

According to Kyodo News, the government is preparing to use the Moderna vaccine for the new large-scale centres to avoid using the Pfizer vaccine supplies intended for municipalities. Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only Covid-19 vaccine approved in Japan. However, with the health ministry panel set to make a decision on Moderna on May 20, health minister Norihisa Tamura could officially approve the Moderna vaccine by May 21.

This article was originally published on April 27 and updated on April 28.

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