Japan is giving out its first COVID-19 vaccines, months after other major economies.
Many are wondering if the campaign will reach enough people to save the Summer Olympics already delayed a year by the pandemic.
Despite recent rising infections, Japan has largely dodged the kind of cataclysm that has battered other wealthy countries’ economies, social networks and healthcare systems.
But the fate of the Olympics, and the billions of dollars at stake should the games fail, makes Japan’s vaccine campaign crucial.
Vaccines will roll out first to medical workers then the elderly and then, possibly in late spring or early summer, to the rest of the population.
But there are worries about shortages of the imported vaccines Japan relies on.
Japanese officials are also well aware that China, which has had success eradicating the
virus, will host next year’s Winter Olympics, something that heightens the desire to make the Tokyo Games happen.