About 97 percent of 116 large Japanese companies that responded to a survey said they plan to have COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace, which affects at least 2 million people.
The results of the survey published by Kyodo News on Saturday also showed that 59 percent of companies either plan or have already decided to give their employees “vaccination leave” on the day of vaccination or the following day if they experience side effects.
Japan’s Minister of Transport Kazuyoshi Akaba (2nd from R) watches as an employee of the Japan Airlines Group receives a COVID-19 vaccination at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on June 14, 2021. The group started an employee vaccination program on the same day. (Kyodo) == Kyodo
As Japan tries to speed up the pace of its daily COVID-19 vaccinations and expand eligibility to younger people, the government unveiled a plan earlier this month that will allow companies and universities to start their own vaccination programs starting Monday.
The survey included 127 large companies, of which 116 responded. Currently, facilities that want to vaccinate more than 1,000 people are allowed to vaccinate on-site in Japan, where 99.7 percent of businesses are small or medium-sized enterprises and one of the biggest challenges would be eliminating vaccination inequalities.
The 112 companies planning vaccinations include cosmetics manufacturer Shiseido Co., trading house Marubeni Corp. and the investment and technology company SoftBank Group Corp., which claims to vaccinate around 150,000 people, including family members of its employees.
In the survey, conducted between June 4th and June 16, 39 companies said they have already set a launch date, 28 of them including camera maker Canon Inc. and Central Japan Railway Co. starting their programs on Monday. About a third of the responding companies said they have a rough schedule.
As for the multiple entry venues, 72 companies chose their headquarters, 47 selected offices and 24 selected factories.
It found that 69 companies, including electronics giant Toshiba Corp. and sportswear maker Asics Corp. will introduce the new holiday, while 19 said they were concerned about post-vaccination side effects.
The beverage manufacturer Suntory Holdings Ltd. announced that it would work with neighboring medical institutions. Osaka Gas Co. said it would set different vaccination days for employees working in the same department.
Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout, which began in February and has been criticized for being sluggish, has been picking up momentum recently as state mass vaccination centers also expanded vaccinations to people between the ages of 18 and 64 to fill vacancies.