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Coronavirus

Japan considers offering free COVID-19 vaccines to all residents

Cost of program to be borne fully by central government

A researcher works at a laboratory on a candidate vaccine for COVID-19: Drugmakers around the world are working on such vaccines.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese government is considering offering free coronavirus vaccines nationwide to all residents who want it, Nikkei has learned.

Those at high risk of developing severe symptoms, notably the elderly and health care workers, will receive first priority for vaccination, which will later be expanded to others. The full cost of immunization will be paid for from the national budget to ensure smooth mass vaccination.

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