Most major cities in Japan revise vaccine plans amid supply crunch

Kyodo -- Jul 18
Nearly 80% of 47 prefectural capitals in Japan said they either have changed or intend to change their plans to vaccinate their local residents against COVID-19 amid a supply shortage of vaccines, a Kyodo News survey showed Saturday.

Of the surveyed local governments, 37 said their revised plans include suspending, delaying or scaling back reservations by residents, as the central government's supplies of Pfizer Inc. vaccine are not able to meet the pace of their inoculations.

A total of 33 cities, or 70 percent, said the amount of doses allocated for July remains less than half the desired amount, with Fukui, Okayama and Nagasaki saying they are receiving only about 20 percent of what they had expected to procure, according to the survey.

Five city governments said they have pushed back or may delay the second round of vaccination, which usually takes place about three weeks after the first shot. The vaccine can remain effective for up to six weeks from the inoculation, according to the central government.

The survey also showed that a total of 32 local governments, or 68 percent, said they expect the amount of doses to be allocated for August and September to be insufficient, as the supplies remain almost the same as July's level.

- Kyodo