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U.S. Forces Japan start COVID-19 vaccinations

Tokyo, Jan. 16 (Jiji Press)–U.S. Forces Japan started vaccinations against COVID-19 at six military facilities in the country in late December, officials have said.


According to the headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan and Japan’s Defense Ministry, a vaccine developed by U.S. biopharmaceutical startup Moderna Inc. has been administered to personnel at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture, Yokosuka Naval Base and Camp Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Kadena Air Base and Camp Foster in Okinawa Prefecture.


Medical workers are being given high priority in vaccinations.


Inoculations have also started for crew members of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, based in the Yokosuka base.


The vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has been allocated to U.S. Forces Japan according to a distribution plan worked out by the Department of Defense.


In the first shipment, U.S. Forces Japan received 7,500 to 8,000 doses of the vaccine.


The number of U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan and their family members stand at about 110,000.


Also, some 20,000 Japanese people work at U.S. military installations in Japan. As the Japanese government has not yet approved any COVID-19 vaccine, however, the ministry has asked the United States not to vaccinate the Japanese workers at present.

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