On June 9, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) stated that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Ministry of Health and Welfare had held an expert meeting on June 8 and suggested changes to the priority list of the government-funded COVID-19 vaccination program. At the meeting, the experts suggested personnel maintaining the operation of institutions and functions of social welfare and care systems and the elderly aged over 75 be listed as individuals in the fifth and six priority groups, respectively. The experts also suggested personnel working in facilities deemed essential by the regulatory authority of the respective business, transportation and warehousing service providers, teachers, staff and personnel in schools from senior high and below, and nursing personnel in preschools and professionals in child care institutions be included in the seventh priority group, i.e. individuals who maintain national security as well as normal functions of society; a detailed list of individuals who can be included in this priority group needs to be submitted to the CECC for approval.
The CECC pointed out that the 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine provided by Japan are expected to be distributed to each local Department of Health or designated healthcare facility in phases starting June 12 after completion of testing and lot release procedures. This batch of vaccine doses will be offered to individuals in the priority order determined by the resolution adopted by ACIP experts. After those vaccine doses roll out, they will be prioritized and offered to individuals in the first, second and third priority groups who haven't received a first dose, workers and residents in residential long-term care facilities, patients on kidney dialysis, and the elderly aged over 75. The CECC will make changes to the amount of vaccine doses distributed and list of individuals eligible for vaccinations based on vaccine delivery schedules, vaccine volume, vaccination rate among prioritized individuals and the status of the pandemic at home and abroad.