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Japan gov't to stop accepting applications for workplace COVID-19 vaccinations

This photo shows a syringe filled with a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna at a state-run mass vaccination center at the Osaka International Convention Center in Kita Ward, Osaka, on May 24, 2021. (Pool photo)

TOKYO -- The Japanese government decided on June 29 that it will stop accepting new applications for workplace COVID-19 vaccinations as there are no prospects of obtaining further supplies of the Moderna vaccine.

    Although 50 million doses of the Moderna vaccine will be imported by the end of September, applications have already been received for about 36 million doses for workplace vaccinations and about 24 million doses for mass vaccinations by local governments. The government on June 25 temporarily suspended the acceptance of new applications after the maximum limit was exceeded. A final decision is expected to be made on June 30.

    According to a source close to the prime minister's office, a detailed examination of the vaccine supply capacity and other factors led to the conclusion that it would be difficult to accept new applications.

    All of the already accepted plans for workplace inoculations and mass vaccinations for municipalities are expected to be carried out. Some of the vaccines for municipalities will be replaced by those manufactured by Pfizer.

    (Japanese original by Akiko Kato and Kazuhiko Hori, Political News Department)

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