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Japan starts COVID-19 vaccinations for health workers

Program to cover 100 medical facilities across the country by next week

A medical worker receives a dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine as the country launches its inoculation campaign, in Tokyo on Feb. 17. (Pool photo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan began administering COVID-19 vaccinations on Wednesday, starting with health workers in Tokyo before expanding the rollout nationwide as the clock ticks down to the Summer Olympics.

The country has been slow to launch inoculations against the coronavirus, starting its program later than at least 70 other countries as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's public support dwindles amid criticism of a sluggish pandemic response.

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