Japan mobilized military doctors and nurses to give shots to elderly people in Tokyo and Osaka on Monday as the government desperately tries to accelerate its vaccination rollout and curb coronavirus infections just two months before hosting the Olympics. Associated Press reported this.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is determined to hold the Olympics in Tokyo after a one-year delay and has made an ambitious pledge to finish vaccinating the country’s 36 million elderly people by the end of July, despite skepticism it’s possible. Worries about public safety, while many Japanese remain unvaccinated, have prompted growing protests and calls for canceling the Games set to start on July 23.
Suga’s government has repeatedly expanded the area and duration of a largely request-based virus state of emergency since late April and has made its virus-fighting measures stricter. Currently, Tokyo and nine other areas that are home to 40% of the country’s population are under the emergency and further extension is deemed unavoidable.
At the two mass inoculation centers staffed by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, the aim is to inoculate up to 10,000 people per day in Tokyo and another 5,000 per day in Osaka for the next three months.
Earlier, it was reported that the petition against Olympics in Tokyo gathered 200,000 signatures.
The Olympics in Tokyo were supposed to take place in Tokyo last summer. But the pandemic made the organizers re-schedule the Games for 2021. For now, the estimated dates are July 23-August 8.
In March, the organizers of the Olympics in Tokyo decided to hold the event without foreign fans.