COVID-19 vaccines

Majority of Japanese unhappy with progress of booster shots – survey

Reuters
Majority of Japanese unhappy with progress of booster shots – survey

VACCINATIONS. A staff of All Nippon Airways (ANA) receives a dose of the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the company's facility at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan June 14, 2021.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

About 73% of respondents to a Kyodo news agency opinion poll over the weekend feel Japan's rollout of booster shots has been far too slow, though 54.1% approve of how it had tackled the coronavirus overall

TOKYO, Japan – A vast majority of Japanese think the rollout of booster shots against COVID-19 is too slow and give mixed reviews to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including last week’s decision to ease border rules, polls show.

Anger over the Japanese government’s handling of the pandemic helped sink the administration of Kishida predecessor Yoshihide Suga, and Kishida faces a crucial election for the upper house of parliament in July.

About 73% of respondents to a Kyodo news agency opinion poll over the weekend felt Japan’s rollout of booster shots has been far too slow, though 54.1% approved of how it had tackled the coronavirus overall.

As of Friday, only some 12% of the population had received booster shots even though nearly 30% of the country is 65 or older and at greater risk without the protection of the booster, even with Kishida repeatedly promising to accelerate the program.

Kishida told a news conference last week that he has yet to receive the booster, but should get one early in March.

Nearly half of respondents to the two-day telephone survey said it was “too early” to loosen border controls, which have among been the strictest among wealthy nations but were slammed by businesses and educators, a move set to take place in stages from March 1.

About 45.7% said the decision, which will open borders to foreigners except for tourists, came too early, Kyodo said, while 34.9% said it was “appropriate” and 16.3% saw it as too late.

Overall, Kishida’s support rose slightly to 56.6% although disapproval of his government edged up 2.2 points to 27.4%. – Rappler.com