Japan PM receives Covid-19 shot ahead of US visit

Tokyo, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Tuesday received the first of the two doses of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine in the run-up to his meeting with President Joe Biden in the United States next month.

Medics gave Suga a Pfizer vaccine dose, the only one currently approved in the country.

The prime minister received the injection at the National Center for Health and Global Medicine, in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, in front of a battery of cameras to send a message of safety to the public.

“I thought it was going to hurt, but it wasn’t that bad and we finished without a hitch,” Suga said.

He will receive the second shot three weeks later, before the three-day trip to Washington in early April, government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told reporters.

Officials and delegates traveling with the prime minister to the US will also receive vaccine shots before the trip.

Japan is prioritizing vaccination among front-line health personnel.

Suga, 72, was scheduled to receive the vaccine when immunization of over 65 begins in April.

But his vaccination was advanced for his meeting with Biden.

Suga will be the first world leader to meet Biden since he became the US president in January.

“Japan and the US agree to take all possible measures against Covid-19 in view of Suga’s visit to the US,” Kato said.

Japan began its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 on Feb.17, in a first phase in which it aims to inoculate 40,000 healthcare workers.

So far, 282,398 people have received the vaccine, including 7,877 who got their second shots. EFE-EPA


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