Tokyo, July 14 (Jiji Press)–Japan can achieve its target of vaccinating all residents hoping to receive COVID-19 vaccines by October-November, regulatory reform minister Taro Kono said Wednesday.
Japan will probably remain able to administer around 1.2 million coronavirus vaccine shots per day, Kono also said in an off-session meeting of the Cabinet Committee of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, the country’s parliament.
Regarding currently suspended or restricted vaccine reservation services at many municipalities due to supply shortages of vaccines from the central government, Kono said, “I’d like to apologize to those affected.”
The central government has already informed local governments of the planned supply volumes, Kono said, expressing hopes that the situation will improve.
On a halt to accepting new reservations under workplace inoculation programs, Kono said he did not expect that the demand would be so strong. “It’s my fault,” he added.
The amount of the COVID-19 vaccine used for the programs and supplied to Japan by U.S. biotechnology company Moderna Inc. totaled 13.7 million doses as of the end of June, falling far short of the 40 million doses specified under Japan’s initial contract.
Kono denied that the government had confused local municipalities by not informing them beforehand that the supply might not meet their demand.