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Major Japan firms planning workplace vaccinations

  • June 2, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 8:09 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, June 2 (Jiji Press)–Major Japanese companies offering in-person services, such as insurers and transport operators, are planning novel coronavirus inoculation programs for employees after the government said Tuesday that it hopes to start workplace vaccinations on June 21.

“We’ll enable our employees to work with a sense of safety by creating an environment in which they can get vaccinated easily, and this will also help ensure the safety and security of our customers,” an official of supermarket chain Life Corp. <8194> said.

Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. plans to inoculate 5,000 employees a month at two facilities in Tokyo. Industrial physicians, nurses and public health nurses will be mobilized to give shots. Marketing employees will be given priority as they are often in contact with clients, according to the insurer.

The company is also mulling vaccinations at facilities in other major cities, such as Nagoya in central Japan, Osaka in western Japan, Fukuoka in southwestern Japan, Sendai in northeastern Japan and Sapporo in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido.

Japan Airlines <9201> and All Nippon Airways aim to start employee vaccinations on June 21, with pilots and cabin crew slated to get jabs ahead of others. East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, will also prepare an employee vaccination program to ensure that its services are provided stably.

Itochu Corp. <8001> said Wednesday that it will start vaccinations at its headquarters in Tokyo and Osaka on June 21, targeting a total of roughly 7,500 people, including its employees and workers from companies with outsourcing contracts with the major trader.

Those receiving inoculations under the program are expected to complete both shots of vaccine by the end of August.

Other major corporations considering workplace vaccinations include automakers Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> and Honda Motor Co. <7267>, as well as Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. <9432> and technology investor and mobile phone carrier SoftBank Group Corp. <9984>.

There are moves to support workplace vaccination programs as well. Meeting room rental service company TKP Corp. <3479> plans to offer vaccination venues. It will also collaborate with medical information service provider M3 Inc. <2413> to match companies with medical workers who will be dispatched to the venues to administer vaccines.

Meanwhile, restaurant chains and convenience store operators which have many small branches face challenges in vaccinating their workforce.

“Our outlets are fairly dispersed, making vaccinations there difficult,” an official at a major restaurant operator said.

In addition, some businesses are expected to face difficulties procuring medical workers and storing vaccines.

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