EXPLAINER: Japan begins vaccination drive, but why so late?

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s COVID-19 vaccinations are beginning after the government gave belated first approval to a shot co-developed by Pfizer Inc. that the United States and many other countries started using two months ago. Some people are in no hurry to get their shots in Japan, where relatively rare side effects tend to get played up. That reluctance could prove to be a big problem for the Olympics, which are scheduled for this summer after a year’s delay. Vaccines are considered key to holding the games. With domestic vaccine development still in its early stages, import-reliant Japan faces uncertainty in its supply. It’s also unclear if Japan’s health care system can accommodate the games while juggling patients and mass inoculations.