City in Tokyo taking elderly vaccination bookings

Tokyo's Hachioji City has begun taking appointments from the elderly for coronavirus vaccines, which it plans to start administering next week.

Hachioji has one of the largest elderly populations in Tokyo. The city and Setagaya Ward plan to start vaccinating elderly people on Monday next week, ahead of the other areas of the Japanese capital.

Hachioji City officials began accepting bookings through a call center and a website on Monday. The city is expected to receive 1,900 doses on the weekend.

Telephones started ringing as the call center opened at 9 a.m. Appointments were on a first-come, first-served basis. All available slots were filled in about an hour and a half.

A city official says only about one percent of the eligible elderly will be able to get shots in April, so many will be disappointed. He says these people can receive vaccinations next month or later, and advises them to take thorough antivirus measures as they wait for their turns.