Japan to inoculate 40,000 healthcare warriors in first phase of COVID-19 vaccine drive

Feb 18 2021 12:22 PM
Japan to inoculate 40,000 healthcare warriors in first phase of COVID-19 vaccine drive

Japan commenced vaccinating health care workers against the coronavirus on Wednesday, rolling out a cautious inoculation program with just over five months until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Japan has thus far approved only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and started administering the first shots at a Tokyo hospital on Wednesday morning.

Japan will vaccinate 40,000 healthcare workers in the first phase of the COVID-19 inoculation drive, Japan Broadcasting Corporation said. The Tokyo Medical Center Director, Araki Kazuhiro was the first to receive the jab.

"I think the vaccine is the trump card in the coronavirus pandemic. If data from our shots are analyzed and used by public health officials, I would be very grateful," said Araki. Around 800 medical staff will be inoculated in the initial round and the recipients will be monitored for 15 minutes. There have been no reports of any severe reactions so far

"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," said the head nurse at Tokyo Medical Center. The inoculations will eventually be expanded to about 3.7 million medical workers and then to elderly people. Medical staffs at 100 hospitals across Japan are receiving Pfizer's vaccine. 20,000 jabbed healthcare officials will be monitored by the Japanese government to check for side effects, reported NHK World

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, the report added.

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