onsdag 24. november 2021

Japan: From vaccine hesitancy to vaccine success

It seems hard to believe now, but at the beginning of June, I was seriously contemplating flying to the United States to get a Covid vaccine. With just seven weeks to go until the Olympics, only 3.5% of Japan's population had been fully vaccinated. While friends in the UK were merrily posting vaccine selfies on social media, here in the capital Tokyo, we were joking we might not see a needle till Christmas.

With the Olympics about to open, it seemed astonishing the Japanese government had bungled the vaccine rollout so badly. Six months later, it couldn't be more different. Not only has Japan succeeded in overcoming the early chaos, it's managed to get a higher percentage of its population vaccinated than almost anywhere else on Earth. Some 76% of Japanese are now fully immunised. The Olympics was key.