Japan unveils booster rate data in major cities to push vaccination rollout

In an effort to urge a faster rollout of COVID-19 booster shots, the government has started listing the rates of vaccination in 20 major cities on the website of the Prime Minister’s Office.

This information is in addition to the vaccination rates of these third shots per prefecture that are already available on the website. Data on the 23 wards of Tokyo taken as a whole is also listed.

As of Tuesday, the list shows that Okayama has the highest booster vaccination rate among the 20 ordinance-designated cities at 17.5%, while Yokohama has the lowest rate at 4%.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida referred to booster shots at a meeting of the government and the ruling coalition on Tuesday.

“The data input to the government system shows that booster shots increased from the previous day by about 1.1 million doses,” Kishida said, though the figure is different from the actual increase in a single day because information about the shots is sometimes input later than the date of vaccination.

Additionally, pandemic-related quasi-emergency priority measures scheduled to end for 21 prefectures on Sunday are set to be extended for at least nine of them.

The government on Tuesday was considering extending the measures to March 6 for Fukushima, Hokkaido, Ibaraki, Kagoshima and Tochigi. A day earlier, it had planned to extend them to the same date for Hyogo, Kyoto, Osaka and Shizuoka.

As for letting measures end for some prefectures, the government is considering doing so for Okinawa and Yamaguchi.

The decisions will be finalized Friday.