Japan starts vaccinating people age 18 or older at state-run centers

Japan Times -- Jun 17
Japan’s state-run mass COVID-19 inoculation centers started administering vaccine to people age 18 or older Thursday, extending vaccinations beyond those aged 65 or over as many slots at the centers remain vacant.

The move came two days after the Defense Ministry, which runs the centers in Tokyo and Osaka, decided to remove age restrictions so as not to waste vaccine doses at the facilities where slots remained largely vacant for the period through June 27.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, around 90% of the 70,000 slots at the Tokyo center between next Monday and June 27 were filled. At the Osaka center, however, around 20,000 of the 35,000 slots for the same period were still unfilled.

The centers, which can inoculate up to 10,000 people per day in Tokyo and 5,000 in Osaka, administer U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc.’s two-dose vaccine, which is recommended for people aged 18 or older.

A vaccination coupon sent by a local municipality is required to make a reservation via the Defense Ministry’s website, the Line messaging app service or a phone call.

Slots from June 28 onward, however, are mostly reserved for older people to receive second doses of the vaccine, with hardly any slots available for new reservations.

- Japan Times

防衛省が運営する大規模接種センターでは、17日から18歳以上に対象年齢を拡大して接種が行われています。  東京・中野区在住の21歳大学生:「大学で結構、対面授業が多いので不安もあったので、なるべく早くリスクはなくしたい」  中野区在住・36歳会社員:「7月の頭に関西に出張が入っていて、それ用の対策というか」  対象となるのは接種券を持つ18歳以上の人で、居住地は問いません。  大規模接種センターでは予約枠の空きが課題となっていましたが、対象年齢を65歳以上から18歳以上に広げたことで、20日までの予約はすべて埋まりました。  28日以降は2回目の接種を受ける人で空きがほぼなくなっていて、防衛省は早めの予約を呼び掛けています。 - ANNnewsCH