Japan starts COVID-19 vaccinations for Olympics staff, media members

The Tokyo metropolitan government on Friday started COVID-19 vaccinations for staff and media members involved in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer, according to Kyodo News.

The government is using Pfizer vaccine doses provided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and plans to inoculate around 2,500 people per day through the end of August, the report noted.

Volunteers and staff who will be working at the athletes' village and competition venues, as well as members of the media and health workers, are eligible for inoculation at a vaccination center at the Tokyo metropolitan government's main building. 

A total of 40,000 members of the staff involved in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be vaccinated, Japan's Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa said on Tuesday.

"We will work with people in charge to make the vaccine process as smooth as possible," Marukawa said. 

The IOC has said that more than 80 percent of those staying in the Olympic Village will be fully vaccinated, although it has not provided details on how it reached that conclusion. 

Local media reported that Japan's coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and several other regions will be lifted on Sunday – just over one month before the summer Olympics are set to begin in Tokyo. 

Meanwhile, Japan aims to introduce vaccine passports by around late July. The government hopes the move will help revive business travel and tourism.

Read more:

Japan plans to introduce vaccine passports by late July 

Schools cancel plans to attend Tokyo Olympics over COVID-19 fears

(Cover: CFP File Photo) 

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