Trained dentists granted special permission to administer shots.

Patience is a virtue, and especially so in Japan, where keeping calm and stoic in the face of adversity is considered a necessary part of being an adult. That said, a lot of people are getting pretty anxious for those cool new coronavirus vaccines we’ve been hearing about.

Unfortunately, there’s still going to be a long wait until inoculations become widely available in Japan. At a Tuesday morning press conference, Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare Norihisa Tamura said that he believes vaccinations for the general population will begin, at the earliest, in mid-July.

As in many other countries, Japan is first opening eligibility for inoculations to senior citizens. Perhaps because of Japan’s large proportion of elderly residents, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expects vaccinating that demographic to take another two months or so to finish. “Once we finish inoculations for senior citizens, we will move on to the next stage, so naturally we can assume that in mid-July it is possible that vaccinations for the general population, or people with pre-existing health issues, will begin in some regions.”

With spiking infection numbers leading to newly declared states of emergency in Osaka and Tokyo, the prospect of another three months, if not longer, of waiting obviously isn’t what most people were hoping for. In order to speed up the vaccination process, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare has also approved an initiative that would allow dentists who have undergone adequate training to administer coronavirus vaccines. This would also require the approval of their local government and the consent of the recipient, however, and Tamura called on municipalities to create vaccination protocols and procedures that will allow the public to undergo inoculation in a calm and secure manner.

Sources: NHK News Web, Japan Times
Top image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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