The governor of Tokyo is urging young people to get vaccinated to slow the wave


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Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike called on younger people to co-operate in measures to reduce large numbers of infections and vaccinations, saying their activities are key to slowing growth during the Olympics.

The Japanese capital reported 2,848 new cases on Tuesday, surpassing its previous record in January.

Koike noted that most elderly people have been fully vaccinated, and infections among them have greatly decreased, while mostly unvaccinated younger people now dominate new cases.

“The activity of younger people has the key (slowing down infections) and we need your cooperation,” Koike said. “Be sure to avoid trivial trips and stick to basic anti-infection measures, and I’d like younger people to get vaccinated.”

As of Tuesday, 25.5% of the Japanese population has been fully vaccinated. The percentage of elderly people who are fully vaccinated is 68.2%, or 36 million people.

Vaccination prospects for the younger ones have improved, and some can organize their injections by jobs and at colleges, while others are still waiting based on seniority. But there are also concerns about hesitation among young people, as surveys show that many of them are skeptical, in part because of false rumors of side effects.

Younger people have been accused of wandering downtown after the required opening hours for restaurants and shops and spreading the virus. Tokyo is under its fourth state of emergency, which will continue until the Olympics, but mainly focuses on requiring institutions to stop serving alcohol and shorten working hours. Measures for the public are just demands and they are increasingly being ignored.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has also urged people to avoid unimportant excursions, but says there is no need to consider suspending the Games, which are being held without fans in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures – Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama.

The governors of the three areas, alarmed by the growing cases in Tokyo, said on Wednesday that they plan to jointly ask Suga to put their prefectures under a state of emergency as well.

Japan has reported 5,020 cases in the last 24 hours for a total of 870,445 and 15,129 confirmed deaths.

Japan kept cases and deaths lower than many other countries. Its seven-day moving average is about 3.57 per 100,000 people, compared with 2.76 in India, 17.3 in the United States and 53.1 in Britain, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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