Tokyo, March 30 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government backtracked Tuesday on its plan to offer people a choice of what coronavirus vaccine they will get.
In a television program aired Sunday, Fumiaki Kobayashi, who takes charge of the vaccination campaign under regulatory reform minister Taro Kono, said information on types of vaccine available at each vaccination stations will be made public and thus people will “be able to select a vaccine shot by choosing a vaccination site.”
At a press conference on Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not deny the plan disclosed by Kobayashi.
“We’re considering offering one type of vaccine at an innoculation site, in principle” if multiple vaccines get health ministry approval, he said.
But at a news conference on Tuesday, Kono, in charge of rolling out vaccines, retracted Kobayashi’s remarks and offered an apology.
Noting that Japan has so far only approved Pfizer lnc.’s vaccine, Kono said the government is “still working out an inoculation strategy.”
He also said he instructed the ministry to shut down its active website allowing people to search for vaccination hubs by selecting a vaccine maker because the service may cause misunderstanding.
The ministry has yet to approve vaccines of AstraZeneca PLC and Moderna Inc., both of which have already been administered in various countries.
“There’s no need to announce that there will be a choice at a time when we don’t have multiple vaccine options,” a government official said.