First responders get jabs at famed Tokyo fish market

·1-min read

Tokyo's Tsukiji market, once the site of the world-famous dawn tuna auction, became the city's latest mass vaccination site on Tuesday, with first responders lining up for their shots.

The main wholesale inner section of Tsukiji market, including the auction hall where massive bluefins sold for millions of dollars, was relocated to a new site in 2018.

Set to be a transport hub for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the market is now being used to ramp up Japan's vaccination programme, which got off to a slow start but is beginning to pick up speed.

Just under 3.5 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, with a little over 10 percent having received their first dose.

Japan is administering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The AstraZeneca shot has also been approved but concerns about rare blood clots have so far stalled its use.

Around 500 firefighters and 2,500 police officers were due to get their jabs at the 3,600-square-metre (38,700-square-foot) Tsukiji market near Tokyo's Ginza shopping district on Tuesday.

One firefighter told reporters he was "relieved" to have his first shot.

"My job is to inspect and maintain fire equipment. I meet a variety of people through my work... I don't want to be the one spreading the virus," he said.

A total of 110,000 first responders and other workers are scheduled to be vaccinated by the end of the month, including acupuncturists and veterinarians.