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COVID vaccines

Tokyo and Osaka mass vaccination sign-ups swamped on first day

Centrally run sites aim to accelerate sluggish rollout, but face glitches

Pharmacists prepare COVID-19 vaccines for administration in Kobe on May 10.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Older adults in Tokyo and Osaka rushed to set dates for their coronavirus shots at central-government-run mass vaccination sites Monday after appointments opened up, but the launch was marred by flaws in the system.

Of the 50,000 slots available in Tokyo's central 23 wards, 41,000 had been filled by 8 p.m., while the 25,000 appointments in Osaka were fully booked, according to the Ministry of Defense. Shots in this round will be administered between May 24 and May 30. The appointments at the mass vaccination sites are for people 65 and older.

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