Japanese COVID-19 Vaccine Booking System Flaw Causes Delay

A flaw in Japan’s Covid-19 Vaccine Booking System has caused a delay in the government’s vaccination program a day after a facility in Tokyo has been opened.

The flaw allows users to make jab reservations intended for people over 64 using arbitrary municipality code numbers and vaccination ticket numbers which can readily be canceled.

Officials said they are addressing the programming glitch after journalists exposed it in newspapers.

The defense ministry said the flaw was due to failure in cross-referencing data used in its reservation system versus that used by local governments.

“We plan on fixing (the system) so we can confirm the inputted data are genuine information,” said Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.

Asahi Shimbun Publications Inc and Mainichi Shimbun, two major news organizations, reported the problem after testing the system using fictitious information. They have canceled their reservations after proving that the system fails.

Self-defense forces opened two mass vaccination centers this week in Tokyo and Osaka to inoculate at least 36 million people aged 65 and over.

Statistical data shows that only 3% of Japan’s 126 million people have received at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine since it began in mid-February. 

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