Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Photograph:( Reuters )
The recommendations of the panel would include 36 million elderly people and 8.2 million people with medical conditions. These may be the first groups to receive coronavirus vaccine
Japanese health ministry panel on Friday, said that those aged 65 or older should get priority for COVID-19 vaccination. The Japanese government is setting guidelines that are expected to prioritise frontline healthcare workers and people with medical conditions. The panel also recommended that chronic heart disease, chronic kidney disease and chronic kidney disease should be considered as underlying conditions that should determine priority for the vaccine.
The recommendations of the panel would include 36 million elderly people and 8.2 million people with medical conditions. These may be the first groups to receive coronavirus vaccine.
Another government panel this week recommended that priority be given to frontline medical professionals and workers at elderly care facilities, while the elderly and those with underlying health conditions should also receive priority.
Japan has a population of 126 million. The country has struck deals to buy 290 million vaccine doses from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna. The vaccines are enough to be made available for 145 million people.
Japan is currently facing a third wave of coronavirus infections, putting the nation`s medical system under heavy strain.
Five national groups of doctors and other medical workers made an emergency request on Friday to Suga and Health Minister Norihisa Tamura, asking for strong anti-infection measures and support for the medical sector.
With hospitals equipped for COVID-19 patients filling up, other hospitals are being forced to accept them, said Tsuyoshi Masuda, president of the Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions, one of the groups.
(With Reuters inputs)