Photo/Illutration Vaccinations against COVID-19 are given at a venue on the campus of Shonan Institute of Technology in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, on June 21. (Takayuki Kakuno)

Employees and students across the nation showed up in force at stations set up at workplaces and universities on June 21 as the COVID-19 vaccination effort shifted into high gear. 

Some companies had already started vaccinating employees, but the inoculation rollout began at universities across the nation that day. 

Many students visited vaccination venues on their campuses from the morning.

With more companies and universities preparing to join the effort, the percentage of those who work in society and the younger generation who are inoculated is expected to rapidly rise.

According to the education ministry, a total of 17 national, public and private universities started the vaccinations on June 21. More universities will join the effort this week.

At Nippon Sport Science University’s Setagaya campus in Tokyo, students, teachers and school personnel received the inoculations at booths set up in the student hall from the morning of the same day.

About 8,600 people on the Tokyo campus are eligible for the vaccinations along with a campus in Yokohama city. But about 870 students have expressed unwillingness to be vaccinated.

For people who want to receive jabs, the university plans to give them their first shot in June and the second in July.

Moe Aihara, 18, a university freshman who is majoring in sports culture, got vaccinated on June 21.

“The shot was nothing unusual, and I feel relieved,” she said.

Even after she entered the university, many of her classes were conducted online, which she felt was boring. She is a member of the futsal club, but the activities have been restricted.

“I think I can join the training camp this summer without any worries,” she said.

At the Setagaya campus, about 270 people associated with the nearby Sakurashinmachi shopping street will be also inoculated. 

Eiko Hayashi, 53, an employee of an eating and drinking establishment, received the vaccination there.

“If any side effects occur, I will have them starting from now, so I am a little worried about it,” Hayashi said. “But I am the only person to have such a service job in my family, and I have an underlying condition because of high blood pressure, so I was relieved after I was vaccinated.”

About five out of her 30 or so co-workers plan to receive jabs on the same campus.


Universities that started the vaccine rollout on June 21 (Based on an education ministry survey):

(In Hokkaido) Health Sciences University of Hokkaido; (in Miyagi Prefecture) Tohoku University; (in Saitama Prefecture) Tokyo International University; (in Tokyo) Keio University, Nihon University and Nippon Sport Science University; (in Kanagawa Prefecture) Shonan Institute of Technology; (in Nagano Prefecture) Matsumoto Dental University; (in Osaka Prefecture) Osaka University, Osaka University of Economics and Law, Kansai University, Kindai University and Yamato University; (in Hyogo Prefecture) Kobe City College of Nursing; (in Hiroshima Prefecture) Hiroshima University; (in Tokushima Prefecture) Tokushima University; (in Nagasaki Prefecture) Nagasaki International University.