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A shortage of doctors and nurses contributed to Japan’s slow vaccine rollout

by Alisha Bhagat, Sep 13
1 minute read

A shortage of doctors and nurses in Japan’s aging population contributed to the country’s sluggish Covid vaccine rollout, says Keio University’s Sayuri Shirai. As of June 21, only 18.3% of Japan’s population has received at least one Covid vaccine dose, compared with 50% of people in the U.S. and 63.6% in the U.K.

person lying on bed and another person standing

So what?

In an aging society, it is very difficult to provide adequate care are there aren’t enough health workers to do things such as administer vaccines. Japan’s dependency ratio – the number of elderly to the number of working people – is particularly low and there is a risk of a critical shortage of healthcare workers in the future. Despite efforts to boost the workforce in this sector, the declining birthrate created a shrinkage of the workforce across sectors. Without a higher birth rate or a more open immigration policy, there will continue to be health worker shortages in the future. How can countries mitigate health worker shortages? What incentives could encourage more people to become health workers?



by Alisha Bhagat Spotted 27 signals

Alisha Bhagat is the futures lead at Forum for the Future. Her work focuses on the creative use of futures tools to impact long term positive change, particularly around social justice and equality. Alisha brings a broad toolkit to her work and designs games, creates immersive experiences, and brings the future to life. In addition to her work at Forum, Alisha is a part-time faculty member at Parsons School of Design where she teaches the Futures Studies and Speculative Design certificate. Prior to joining Forum, Alisha was a foreign policy consultant for the US government and a fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. Alisha holds an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a BS in Anthropology and History from Carnegie Mellon University. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2005. When not thinking about the future, Alisha is an avid gamer and science fiction enthusiast.

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