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Japan must be better prepared for the next pandemic

Sluggish vaccine rollout has left most Japanese feeling frustrated

| Japan
A medical worker fills a syringe with a vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Tokyo on June 9: regulatory hurdles, a lack of coordination across municipalities and an onerous approval system have kept millions of available shots from getting into people's arms.   © Reuters

Kenneth E. Thorpe is a professor of health policy at Emory University and advisory board member for the Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease.

In the pandemic's early days, while Western countries struggled to tamp down surging case numbers and prop up health systems on the brink of collapse, Japan could take comfort in the fact that the pandemic was mostly under control within its borders.

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