Large vaccination site schedule brought forward

Elderly residents of three prefectures surrounding Tokyo will be able to start making reservations on Friday for vaccinations at a large-scale inoculation center in Tokyo.

Next Monday was the original date for people aged at least 65 living in Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa to start making such reservations.

The Defense Ministry on Thursday decided to advance the schedule by three days because surplus reservation slots for next week are available.

Since Monday, the ministry has been accepting reservations from Tokyo residents of this age group for next week's slots. It says that of the 70,000 slots available, around 52,000 reservations were made by Thursday afternoon.

State Minister of Defense Nakayama Yasuhide says the decision to advance the schedule for the three prefectures has been made in the interest of not wasting the maximum vaccination capacity at the site.

If reservations are made, applicants will be able to receive shots starting on Monday.

The government set up the center to speed up vaccination for elderly residents of Tokyo and the three prefectures. The government set up a similar large-scale inoculation center in Osaka City.