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Japan's Fukuoka aims to speed up coronavirus immunizations with 24-hr vaccination services

The Fukuoka Municipal Government building is seen in the city's Chuo Ward in this Feb. 24, 2019 file photo. (Mainichi/Michiko Morizono)

FUKUOKA -- Ahead of coronavirus inoculations for the general public scheduled to begin in July, the city of Fukuoka revealed May 11 that it intends to set up 24-hour vaccination venues.

    The Fukuoka Municipal Government said the endeavor is a rare one in Japan, and that it aims to speed up its vaccine rollout by accommodating residents' different lifestyles. Local authorities are discussing specifics, and they envisage setting up vaccination booths inside medical institutions normally offering examinations at night.

    Furthermore, group immunizations time slots for senior citizens at Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall B in the city's Hakata Ward, set to begin at full scale on May 13 and run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be extended to last until 10 p.m. from May 28. In this extra time, the city will give vaccines to nursing care and day care facility workers, among others in vaccination priority groups under the municipal government's original scheme. The municipal government said it plans to finish vaccinations, including for the elderly, by the end of July.

    As part of attempts to strengthen the vaccination system, dentists will be joining doctors and nurses in administering vaccinations. Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima said, "I'd like to do whatever I can do to move forward with vaccinations as quickly as possible."

    (Japanese original by Akihiko Tsuchida, Kyushu News Department)

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