Japan to prioritize students heading abroad for COVID-19 vaccinations

Japan Times -- Jun 04
The Japanese government will prioritize students hoping to attend university abroad in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout ahead of the new semester from September, sources with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.

The move comes as some schools in countries such as the United States have adopted requirements for students to be inoculated before they are allowed to participate in in-person classes.

Students heading to such universities will become eligible after June 21, when Japan expands its vaccine rollout to workplaces and campuses, the sources said.

Health care workers and people aged 65 and older are currently the only groups receiving the shots, with those with underlying conditions such as diabetes set to join later this month.

Only students enrolling in courses for a degree will be eligible, with those in short-term programs excluded. After being inoculated, they will receive a certificate that they can submit to the overseas university.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology will set up a dedicated website, possibly this month, to process bookings, and aims to finish administering the shots by September when the fall semester begins.

According to the ministry, 58,720 Japanese students were enrolled in a degree course at a university abroad in 2018, with 18,105 in the United States, 14,230 in China and 9,196 in Taiwan.

- Japan Times