Japan starting deliveries of vaccine for elderly

Japan's health ministry is starting to deliver coronavirus vaccine doses for elderly citizens on Monday, one week before the start of their inoculations.

Vaccinations for roughly 36 million people aged 65 or older will follow the start of inoculations for medical workers in February using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Tokyo, Kanagawa and Osaka will each receive 3,900 doses this week, with the other prefectures each getting 1,950 doses.

Tokyo, Kanagawa and Osaka will each receive another 19,500 doses next week and the same amount the week after next. The other prefectures will each get 9,750 more doses in each of the two weeks.

The ministry plans to deliver 975 doses to each municipality in the week that starts on April 26.

The ministry says that as early as next month, it hopes to introduce syringes that can extract six doses from one vial in place of syringes that are less efficient at five doses.

Japan's health ministry adds that it expects to provide, by the end of June, enough doses to inoculate all elderly people twice.