Japan starts vaccine rollout with healthcare workers

18 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: Japan began vaccinating healthcare workers against the coronavirus on Wednesday, rolling out a cautious inoculation programme with just over five months until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, reports AFP.

Japan has so far approved only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and started administering the first shots at a Tokyo hospital on Wednesday morning.

Tokyo Medical Centre director Kazuhiro Araki became the first person in Japan to receive the vaccine outside of clinical trials.

“The vaccine plays an important role in anti-coronavirus measures. So I thought as a director I should take the lead and get the shot,” he told reporters afterwards. “I don’t like getting shots very much,” he admitted.

“But it wasn’t painful, so it was good. I was relieved.”

Nurse Rino Yoshida, wearing a face mask and visor, was calm and relaxed as she was vaccinated.