Tokyo, March 12 (Jiji Press)–Japan will likely be able to secure up to more than 100 million novel coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of June, regulatory reform minister Taro Kono, who is also in charge of the nation’s program for inoculation against the virus, told a press conference Friday.
This means that doses enough to vaccinate all elderly people will be delivered to local governments by the end of June as scheduled.
Under the government’s inoculation program, about 40,000 medical workers are first in line to get vaccinated, to be followed by 4.8 million other medical workers and 36 million elderly people. With each of them set to be given two shots, a total of about 82 million vaccine doses will be needed.
If syringes capable of taking six shots from each vial are used, 4.66 million doses will be delivered by the end of this month and 12.25 million doses in April, Kono said. In May, 10.74 million doses will likely be sent in each of the four weeks, and the supply amount in June is expected to surpass that in May.
Even if the amount in June proves the same as that in May, the total supply by the end of June will exceed 100 million doses, according to the minister.
Meanwhile, Kono was unsure about when vaccination will start for the general public other than the elderly population. “After all elderly people are inoculated, vaccination of people who are next in line will start, according to the pace of inoculation at each municipality,” he said.
On the ongoing vaccination of medical workers, Kono said syringes that can extract six shots from a vial can be delivered to local governments from the week starting on April 12.