Japan opened large-scale vaccination facilities on Monday morning in Tokyo and Osaka Prefecture. The move comes as officials aim to inoculate Japan's 36 million seniors by the end of July.
The two venues are operated by the Self-Defense Forces. The newly-approved Moderna vaccine is being used at both. The Tokyo facility will administer 5,000 shots a day, while the one in Osaka will give out 2,500. The government says it hopes to double their combined capacity in the future.
A man who received the vaccination said he was glad that he got his first shot, and that it went fairly smoothly. A woman said that hers was over instantly and that it was painless.
Starting today, the two centers are expanding online reservations to include people aged 65 or older across all of Tokyo and Osaka Prefecture. Only seniors living in certain parts of the two areas had previously been allowed to make appointments. Those living in neighboring prefectures can reserve a spot starting next week. They are Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, as well as Kyoto and Hyogo.
So far, only four percent of Japan's elderly have received at least one dose, lagging far behind other G7 countries.