Technical glitches derailed Japan’s coronavirus vaccine reservation system on Wednesday, compounding frustration over the government’s handling of new outbreaks of infections and a vaccination drive that critics say has been woefully slow.
Online vaccine reservation system has crashed in many places, including parts of Tokyo and western Minoh city due to a global issue with the US cloud computing provider Salesforce.com Inc, public broadcaster NHK reported.
Salesforce CTO Parker Harris said on Twitter that the company was experiencing a “major disruption,” later updated to say services had largely been restored.
“Making an appointment for a vaccination seems like a big challenge for the elderly,” wrote Twitter user @ obachan66972352.
“Please consider making it possible to obtain the vaccine without an appointment.”
A representative from the Department of Health’s vaccine office was not immediately available when contacted by Reuters.
The ministry faced many technical issues throughout the pandemic, from a contact tracing app that failed to convey vital information to a cumbersome database that health workers were reluctant to use.
Japan has inoculated just 2.8% of its population, the lowest rate among rich countries despite an ambitious government goal of slashing its 36 million elderly by July, when the Olympics are due. open in Tokyo.
The campaign was initially slow due to tight supplies of imported doses of Pfizer Inc. vaccine (PFE.N), but has since been plagued by labor shortages and other logistical challenges.
Taro Kono, the minister responsible for vaccines, urged the public to be patient and take action to streamline the booking process.
Christophe Weber, managing director of Japan’s largest drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co (4502.T), admitted on Tuesday that the country was behind in its inoculation campaign and needed to step up.
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