Japan reaches 100m Covid-19 doses, surpasses US in proportion of older folk fully vaccinated

The vaccination mark comes as Japan is in the midst of a fresh wave of Covid-19 infections attributed to the Delta variant.
The vaccination mark comes as Japan is in the midst of a fresh wave of Covid-19 infections attributed to the Delta variant. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Japan has administered more than 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines and surpassed the United States in the proportion of older folk fully vaccinated, according to government figures released on Tuesday (Aug 10).

The vaccination mark comes as Japan, like many other nations, is in the midst of a fresh wave of coronavirus infections attributed to the Delta variant. Japan and its capital of Tokyo have reported record daily infection numbers for several days this month, as the Summer Olympics were drawing to a close.

Most of the new infections have been among those in their 20s and 30s, showing the impact of the gap in inoculation rates between the older folk and the rest of the population.

As at Tuesday, Japan had administered 102.9 million doses and 81.6 per cent of its residents 65 or older were fully vaccinated, according to the Prime Minister's office. That is higher than the 80.4 per cent of the same age group fully vaccinated in the US, according to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention data. But in the US, 90.5 per cent of those 65 and older have received at least one dose, higher than the 87.6 per cent in Japan.

Japan also has a lower percentage of its population fully vaccinated than any member of the Group of Seven advanced nations. Japan is at 32.9 per cent, compared with 50.8 per cent in the US and 59 per cent in Britain, according to the Johns Hopkins University's vaccine tracker.

A poll carried out by public broadcaster NHK from last Saturday to Monday found that 75 per cent of respondents thought Japan's vaccine roll-out was "slow", while only 18 per cent said it was "smooth".