Japan’s vaccine push ahead of Olympics looks to be too late

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TOKYO (AP) — It’s sinking in that Japan’s scramble to catch up on a frustratingly slow vaccination drive less than two months before the Summer Olympics start may be too little, too late.

Instead, an expert warns that the Olympics risks becoming an incubator for “a Tokyo variant,” as tens of thousands athletes, officials, sponsors and journalists descend on and potentially mix with a largely unvaccinated Japanese population.

With infections in Tokyo and other heavily populated areas at high levels and hospitals already under strain, experts have warned there is little slack in the system.

Even if the country succeeds in meeting its goal of fully vaccinating the elderly by the end of July, much of the population would not be inoculated.

And that goal is thought to be overly optimistic anyway.

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