SDF-run vaccination sites to reopen

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
People wait in line at a mass vaccination site run by the Self-Defense Forces in Osaka in June 2021.

Mass COVID-19 vaccination sites operated by the Self-Defense Forces are set to reopen amid a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases.

From May to November last year, SDF personnel vaccinated about 1.96 million people at the Otemachi Government Building No. 3 in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward and the Osaka International Convention Center in Osaka’s Kita Ward. Up to 10,000 people per day were vaccinated at the Tokyo site and up to 5,000 per day received shots at the venue in Osaka.

According to a senior Defense Ministry official, the Otemachi Government Building in Tokyo is likely to be used again, while in Osaka, the ministry is planning to use facilities of the Osaka Municipal Government and other organizations.

At the venues, vaccines manufactured by Moderna Inc. will be administered to people aged 18 and older who have received vaccination coupons from local governments.

The number of vaccinations that will be administered each day and the number of doctors and nurses that will be deployed cannot be determined until the venues have been confirmed.

Last time, about 220,000 people were employed to operate the reservation system, serve as stewards and provide security at the Tokyo and Osaka facilities.

However, personnel have not yet been secured for the planned resumption of vaccinations at the sites. The Defense Ministry is aiming to release an outline of its plans by next week.