Tokyo (CNN) With the Olympic games due to start in Tokyo in July, Japan had every reason to move quickly to approve a Covid-19 vaccine and begin inoculations. But the country only started inoculating its population of 126 million people with Pfizer-BioNTech shots last week , more than two months after the vaccine rolled out in other major countries , including the United States and United Kingdom. […] “I think it is more important for the Japanese government to show the Japanese people that we have done everything possible to prove the efficacy and the safety of the vaccine — to encourage the Japanese people to take the vaccine,” Kono said. […] Scandal and skepticism According to a study published in medical journal The Lancet that mapped vaccine confidence in 149 countries between 2015 and 2019, fewer than 30% of people in Japan strongly agreed vaccines were safe, important and effective — compared to 50% in the US. […] MUST WATCH The Covid-19 pandemic is driving a spike in suicides in Japan 03:24 In the buildup to the Olympics, Shibuya says the government needs to focus on advocating to the public that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe, important and essential.
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