The Tokyo metropolitan government said on Monday (August 30) that after thousands of young people swarmed the walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site in its first days of opening, it is considering implementing an online lottery system to reduce crowds, local media reported Monday.
The walk-in site, located close to JR Shibuya Station, was set up in the wake of the COVID-19 resurgence in Tokyo, aiming to inoculate people between the age of 16 and 39, who reside in or commute to Tokyo, as the spread rate of infections among this age group began to speed up.
As people line up to get tickets for limited vaccines offered each day, concerns are increasing about the forming crowds, which create a high-risk environment for spreading the virus.
The current system that distributes lottery tickets from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. local time will remain for the period of finalizing details on the online lottery system, the metropolitan government said.
After people began to line up from the early morning and snapped up around 200 vaccination slots provided on a first-come, first-served basis on the first day of the program, the Tokyo metropolitan government shifted to a lottery system.
Tokyo reported 1,915 new infections on Monday, the first time below 2,000 in over a month. However, hospitals in the capital remain under strain, with around 300 patients in serious condition.