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Coronavirus

Japan starts Pfizer vaccine Wednesday, 2 months after UK and US

Digital tracking systems needed, creating challenge for analog government

Staff at a university hospital in Japan's Aichi Prefecture practice for delivering coronavirus vaccinations. (Photo by Koji Uema)

TOKYO -- Japan begins inoculating medical workers against the coronavirus Wednesday, two months behind the U.K. and the U.S., after the government gave its first green light to a vaccine.

The health ministry approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Sunday for people 16 and older, with a schedule of two doses three weeks apart. The vaccination campaign starts with doctors, nurses and other staff at 100 selected hospitals, with a senior government official saying Monday the initial round is expected to cover "nearly 20,000 people."

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