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Japan To Give Free Covid-19 Vaccines For All Residents

Mark Andrew

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  • Japan will soon provide free vaccines against the coronavirus for all its residents.
  • This has been made official with the approval of a new bill.
  • So far, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country has been growing, although the death toll has remained low.

With the Upper House passage of a new bill, the government of Japan is officially rolling out its plan to provide free coronavirus vaccines for its residents.As confirmed by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, local officials will be handling the initiative and will offer immunization for the public without any charge.

It’s definitely a major leap for Japan, especially as the country has been facing a surge of infections in some areas, forcing them to close bars and restaurants earlier than usual. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has even partially suspended his Go To Travel Campaign which aims to boost the economy by encouraging domestic travel.

According to Suga, Japan will obtain enough supply of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of June 2021.

Moderna Inc will provide the vaccines, plus Japan also has agreements with AstraZeneca PLC and Pfizer Inc.

While the revised law does not specifically state anything about foreign residents, officials said that they will most likely be included in the free immunizations.

The big challenge for this move, however, is that some nationals aren’t actually in favor of getting vaccinated.

Case in point, a survey conducted by Ipsos last October revealed that only 69% of Japanese residents were willing to get immunized once an effective one is available in the market.

This figure is noticeably lower when compared with the global average – which is 73%.

Despite the increasing number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, Japan has a relatively low death toll at only more than 2,000, compared with the United States – the world’s worst-hit country – with over 274,000 deaths.

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