Setagaya Vaccination Update

We’ll be getting our first shots on Monday, about two weeks after we received the tickets to be able to make a reservation. I am excited! Vaccinations are our best chance to push the reproduction rate of the virus below 1, despite the spread of the more transmissible Delta and Kappa variants (B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.1) that were first sequenced in India late last year. Right now it looks like these variants are rapidly replacing the Alpha variant that arrived from the UK earlier this year and will have largely done so by the opening of the Olympics three weeks from now.

Setagaya, the ward of Tokyo where we live, suspended its reservation system for a couple of days to perform an upgrade. Now that it has come back online, they have also extended the time period until when you can make reservations from the end of August to September 21. They will revisit it again after watching how many individuals will get vaccinations through their universities or workplaces starting from this month.

Looking at the September overview of open slots (which we can assume to be close to the pre-booking state) it seems the mass inoculation sites run by the city are designed to handle about 33,500 shots per week. All sites have some days off (presumably for the staff), but all are open Saturdays and Sundays to make it easy for people to get vaccinated without taking off time from work or schools.

Besides the mass vaccination sites people can also go to local clinics. Appointments there are mostly not done through the municipal reservation system. I have not seen any data yet on how many people are choosing their regular clinics vs mass vaccination sites, which makes it hard to get an accurate view for progress in Setagaya.

The earliest available mass vaccination slots listed right now are about 3 weeks from now. By July 20 vaccination tickets will have been mailed out to the rmaining population aged 16-59, with children age 12-15 added at the end of the month. Assuming the vaccination capacity for July 1-21 is comparable to the empty slots in September (1-21) then about 100,000 shots can be given over these three weeks, while about another half a million people will get tickets allowing them to make appointments to get two shots each. This will presumable push the available dates months into the future. The big unknown for me is how many shots the local clinics will handle.

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