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2,600-plus mass vaccination center slots in Tokyo, Osaka snapped up in 9 min.

People wait for their COVID-19 inoculations at a mass vaccination center run by the Self-Defense Forces in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward in this June 17, 2021 file photo. (Mainichi/Yohei Koide)

TOKYO -- All additional COVID-19 vaccination slots at Self-Defense Forces (SDF)-run mass inoculation centers that were made available at 12:00 a.m. on June 26 were filled within nine minutes, Japan's Defense Ministry announced the same day.

    The slots for 2,625 people -- 300 people per day in Tokyo and 75 in Osaka -- between June 28 and July 4 were made available for reservation online. The ministry also stated that from June 28 the SDF planned to stop giving the shots to people who arrived at the centers without a reservation, which the forces had been doing in exceptional circumstances.

    There were very few slots available from June 28 as the vaccination program was set to start administering second shots in earnest. However, more were added after locals began to complain about people gathering in front of the centers to wait for reservation cancellations, following the expansion of inoculation eligibility to those aged 18 and over on June 17.

    (Japanese original by Yoshitake Matsuura, City News Department)

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