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Coronavirus

Japan starts COVID vaccination drive: five things to know

Tokyo doctor receives first dose; vaccine minister Kono upbeat as Olympics near

Kazuhiro Araki, director of the Tokyo Medical Center, receives Japan's first COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 17. (Pool photo) 

TOKYO -- Japan began vaccinating health workers against the coronavirus on Wednesday, with a doctor in Tokyo receiving the country's first Pfizer dose.

Kazuhiro Araki, director of the Tokyo Medical Center, received the landmark shot in the morning. The launch sets up a new challenge for a country that expects to achieve a high inoculation rate despite public concern about the safety of the new technology behind the vaccine.

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