Regional gaps found in vaccination progress

Japanese government data on the progress in coronavirus vaccinations for senior citizens have highlighted regional gaps.

The government released the data on Monday.

The country wants to step up its program to inoculate around 36 million people who are aged 65 or older. Of them, 6 percent have got the first of two doses. Only 0.5 percent received the second shot by Sunday.

By prefecture, Wakayama, western Japan, has the fastest pace of vaccinations with 17.5 percent of the elderly having received at least one shot. The region with the slowest pace of progress is the western prefecture of Ehime, where only 3.2 percent have got the first dose.

Among densely populated prefectures, 6.6 percent of senior citizens in Tokyo have got at least one jab. The figure is 4.6 percent for Osaka and 6.1 percent for Aichi.

About 4.8 million healthcare professionals nationwide are also being inoculated.

Government data show that nearly 83 percent received the first dose by Friday, while roughly 52 percent have got the second jab.