In the press review on Wednesday, June 2, we will discuss: the vaccination campaign in the run-up to the Olympics seems to come too late, Yoyogi Park will be used as a COVID vaccination site and the departments with the best vaccination rates will receive more of doses.

Late for the Olympics

This is the conclusion that emerges as Japan strives to catch up with a frustratingly slow vaccination campaign, less than two months before the start of Summer olympics, delayed for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Infection levels remain high at Tokyo and in other heavily populated areas. With hospitals already strained to handle severe cases despite the state of emergency, experts have warned that there is little wiggle room in the system. Even if the country manages to meet its goal of fully immunizing 36 million elderly people by the end of July, a week after the start of the Games, around 70% of the population would not be vaccinated. And many people consider this goal to be overly optimistic anyway. “Vaccinations, at the current rate, will not help prevent infections during the Olympics”, said Haruo Ozaki, president of the Medical Association of Tokyo. “The Olympics can trigger a worldwide spread of different variants of the virus”. According to Japanese Olympic Committee, the country started to vaccinate the athletes who will go to the Games, since yesterday.

Yoyogi Park as a vaccination center

Yoyogi Park, one of the sites in the capital slated to host free live screenings and events for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer, will be used as a vaccination site against COVID-19, said the governor of Tokyo on Tuesday, Yuriko Koike. Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, Koike declined to confirm whether events at the site would be canceled, stating that “It will depend on the coronavirus situation, but we will first focus on vaccinations”. The metropolitan government, working with the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics, initially planned to set up five venues for live screenings and events during the games, but announced in December that that number would be reduced. The Yoyogi park and the Inokashira park are now the only two sites where these events should take place in the capital. With less than two months before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23, Koike expressed to the metropolitan assembly his desire to hold the event as planned, declaring: “We will do our best to keep the games safe. “

Extra doses for the best results

The five departments with the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage will be given priority in the distribution of vaccines for the elderly, the Minister of Administrative Reform said on Tuesday, Tarô Kôno. The five departments of Wakayama, Yamaguchi, Tottori, Saga and Kochi, whose immunization rates are all higher than those in other departments in Japan, will be able to receive the amount of vaccine they request from the government when the government distributes approximately 18.72 million doses over the two weeks from 21st of June. Vaccine quotas for the remaining 42 departments will be decided on the basis of the number of people who can be vaccinated. “There is no point in building up stocks of vaccines, because they are precious”, said Kôno, the minister also in charge of coronavirus vaccination in Japan, during a press conference. He called on municipalities that have accumulated stocks to provide their vaccines to other municipalities through their departments. “From now on, we will be monitoring the numbers recorded in the immunization registration system more closely. I would like to ask local governments that are behind in data entry to speed up the process ”, added Tarô Kôno.

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