By Yamaguchi Keita, staff writer
Young people standing in a long line is a common sight in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, but this time they weren’t waiting to buy concert tickets or a trendy new beverage.
Instead, they were waiting at a special COVID-19 vaccination center set up for young people by the Tokyo metropolitan government on Aug. 27.
No reservation was required for a vaccination at Shibuya Ward’s labor welfare hall. However, as a long line formed from the early morning, even though the center would not open until noon, staff were forced to hand tickets out for admittance.
The metropolitan government announced on the Twitter at 7:30 a.m. that it stopped taking vaccination requests at the Shibuya center for the day. The announcement said that all slots were filled and that they apologized to people who were planning to come there.
But even after that, a string of young people continued to visit the center, and the Tokyo officials were forced to explain to them that they had finished accepting requests for the day.
According to the metropolitan government, it initially anticipated that about 200 people would receive shots of the Pfizer vaccine per day. But on that day, more young people came to the venue than expected.
A 28-year-old man, who lives in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, and commutes to Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward for his job, took the earliest train and arrived at the vaccination venue a little after 7 a.m.
At first, he was worried because of the long line but he was able to obtain a ticket.
“I realized that many people in the same generation want to get jabs to feel safe,” he said. “I feel sorry for people who lined up behind me and were turned away. The vaccination center should provide more slots.”
The metropolitan government plans to adopt a lottery system for the next vaccination day at the center on Aug. 28 and later dates.
The vaccinations will be offered at the labor welfare hall every day by Oct. 8, excluding Mondays, Sept. 12 and Oct. 3.
People aged from 16 to 39 who live in Tokyo or come to the capital for their job or schooling are eligible for the jabs. They need to bring their vaccination vouchers and identification cards.