Japan is all set to start its Covid-19 vaccination program for the general public from May 2021, which is two months before the Olympic games. Reportedly the government has signed contracts with numerous pharmaceutical companies to make sure that it has enough vaccines for the whole 126 million population. Most vulnerable groups will receive the vaccine on a priority basis.
The local Japanese newspaper has reported that the government has plans to vaccinate maximum people by July 2021, as Japan is hosting the Olympic games 2021.
First in line are over ten thousand health and medical workers who will get the Covid-19 vaccine first, followed by other fifty million people who are over the age of 65 and high risk of contracting the virus.
This vaccination program will begin in May. Katsunobu Kato who is the official spokesperson for the Japanese government, says that the program can only begin once these vaccines receive approval first.
There was also some news regarding hesitancy to try Covid-19 vaccines in Japan which came forward after 60% of Japanese respondents of an international survey confirmed that they will get the vaccination.
Recently, Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese Prime Minister has said that he will also get this vaccine among the other first group to receive this vaccine while talking about the confidence in Covid-19 jab.
Tokyo 2020, Olympic Games (although conducting in 2021) is only six months away and the increase in daily cases worldwide as well as Japan has raised questions on whether the ceremony would take place or not. The public response towards the event is significant as 80% of the population polled against this event. According to a poll result, the Japanese population suggested that this event should not be taking place, either it should be postponed for later or canceled.
On the other side, the government officials and Olympic board bodies are reluctant to cancel or postpone it. In fact, they are insisting for the event to happen under close monitoring and precautions.
The CEO of the Tokyo 2020, Olympic games, Mr. Toshiro Muto shared that the organizers are indecisive regarding the opening ceremony and the whole event but it is impossible to rule it out in the absence of spectators.
Earlier, the Osaka Mayor has suggested another postpone plan but it was soon dismissed. Mayor Ichiro Matsui has proposed to host the next Olympic game in 2024, and canceling it this year.
He has also questioned the Covid-19 vaccination program raising the question of whether it is possible to vaccinate everyone before July. He said it is physically impossible to vaccinate millions of people by this summer so the country should start negotiations to postpone the event with the IOC, as soon as possible.
Previously, Matthew Pinsent, Olympic gold medallist from the UK has also called out to cancel the event this year and host the Olympic games in 2024 and shifting the next hosts further ahead with Paris in 2028 and Los Angeles to 2032.
If more vaccines are approved in the next month, Japan may be able to vaccinate a large population and proceed with the event ahead. If it fails, there are chances that the event will be postponed again.