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Suga says COVID-19 vaccination to start in mid-February  

All national papers reported that Prime Minister Suga told the press yesterday that pending the completion of the Health Ministry’s screening of the safety and efficacy of vaccines, COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare workers will commence in mid-February, a week or two earlier than originally scheduled, and that vaccination of the elderly will begin in April. He noted that even though Japan was quick to seal contracts for securing vaccines, it has not been able to begin vaccination. “We’ve made extra efforts in the hope of starting to vaccinate people as soon as possible…. Once the vaccination program starts, the nation’s organizational strength will be fully mobilized to inoculate as many people as possible.” The ministry is reportedly planning to convene an experts’ meeting on the Pfizer vaccine on Feb. 12 and authorize its emergency use three days later.  

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