Japan to give all 126 million residents free Covid-19 vaccine

Everyone gets one.

Belmont Lay | December 04, 2020, 04:15 AM

Japan will give free Covid-19 vaccines to all of its 126 million residents.

A Bill was passed on Dec. 2, which says the government will cover all vaccine costs for Japan's residents.

The country has secured Covid-19 vaccines for 60 million people from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and for a further 25 million people from biotech firm Moderna.

It has also confirmed it will receive 120 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine.

The Bill was approved by the upper house of parliament, having cleared the powerful lower house.

Japan, at the moment, is battling record numbers of daily Covid-19 cases in its third wave of pandemic, and hospitals are facing the prospect of collapsing.

Japan's approach to dealing with Covid-19

The Bill's passage comes two weeks after Japan's prime minister said the country was on "maximum alert" over the virus.

This is despite Japan not among the worst-hit countries, as it has around 2,100 deaths and 150,000 cases.

The country has also opted not to impose the strict lockdowns seen elsewhere, but to approach it in a laissez-faire manner.

Residents in Tokyo have been urged to avoid non-essential outings and businesses have been asked to shut places that serve alcohol early.

But there is no enforcement mechanism carried out.

Individual regions are also tasked to opt out of a controversial domestic tourism campaign on their own without the national government making the rule mandatory to follow.

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