People wait to be processed after arriving to receive the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at the newly-opened mass vaccination center in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: Carl Carl Court/Pool via AP
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Japan opens mass vaccination centers in Tokyo, Osaka

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I still cannot understand the maths.

Mass vaccination centers in Osaka and Tokyo can vaccinate 15,000 people a day but the total number of slots available are 49,000 and 25,000.

so they took reservations for less than 5 days of capacity in Tokyo and 5 days in Osaka?

31 ( +32 / -1 )

The slots -- 49,000 at the Tokyo site and 24,500 at the Osaka venue -- were quickly filled after the Defense Ministry started accepting reservations on May 17 on its website and via the Line messaging app.

49,000 slots when they are only planning on 10,000 a day in Tokyo?

Japan hopes the mass venues, aiming to inoculate up to 10,000 people a day in Tokyo and 5,000 in Osaka, will help meet its target to complete vaccinations by the end of July of people aged 65, along with those turning 65 in the current fiscal year, or older. The Tokyo Olympics will open July 23.

This is still only about 600,000 out of around 30 Million people in the Tokyo metropolitan area. So the Olympics are still a HUGE threat to be a SUPER-DUPER-spreader event!

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Japan's vaccination program started in February with health care workers and later expanded to the elderly totaling about 36 million people. But only around 4 percent of the country's population of 126 million has received at least one dose.

Right, 2 months since they started, and until at least a month ago, only 2% of the total. At this rate it will easily be a year before everyone else gets their FIRST stab!

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Previously the gov had said their goal was 1,000,000 shots per day. @15,000 per day, Japan should be fully vaccinated in .... 43 years.

120,000,000 / 15000 * 2 / 365

18 ( +23 / -5 )

10,000 shots a day in Tokyo and everyone is also expected to travel long distances to get the shot? No wonder places like the UK and US are getting a better job done. An elderly relative of mine was able to get her second shot this month back home. She walked there.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

A little advertised fact about the initial vaccination drive to vaccinate medical workers was that it included SDF staff... why not use the already vaccinated staff at these sites?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

@Thomas Tanks

Younger ages under 16 are not supposed to get vaccinated right now.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What exactly is this supposed to accomplish? There are around 37 million residents in greater Tokyo, and this 3-month only vaccination center will only vaccinate 900,000 residents at best at 10,000 per day. Give us s break already!

27 ( +29 / -2 )

Elderly people get vaccinated at hospitals and clinics besides big centers. It seems all done until July / August.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

What exactly is this supposed to accomplish?

It's PR for Suga and the other LDP clowns in charge so they can pretend they are doing something , expect photos and reports on these centres all over media ad nausea...and especially these reports being passed onto foreign press to show how Japan is gambatteru and doing it's best for the " safe Olympics sham.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

"The slots -- 49,000 at the Tokyo site and 24,500 at the Osaka venue -- were quickly filled..."

I thought the Japanese people were reluctant to get the vaccine. Seems to me there is pretty good demand.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The slow ramp-up is super annoying... but once more of these sites are up I am confident things will get better quickly.

What I don't understand is... why complicate things by involving municipalities? The government should run all vaccination sites using SDF staff. They need to streamline the roll out ASAP.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

My Father-in-Law lives in southern Ibaraki, but commutes everyday to his job in Tokyo [it's simply not possibly to do his job remotely].

However, because his residence in is Ibaraki, he won't be eligible for these shots, even though he's commuting into Tokyo every day. [Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba prefecture residents will be eligible though, because..?]

It seems clear there just isn't enough capacity, so they had to start cutting somewhere.

Major commuter train lines [JR Joban Line & Tsukuba Express] take tens of thousands of commuters into Tokyo every day on packed trains. But there's nothing to do but wait for the local municipality to get their act together. An incredibly frustrating situation.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

The first round of jabs should be residents then people who work there daily.

At one point until there weren't enough vaccines, India was vaccinating 4.5 million people per day.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

At least in Osaka, the vax blitz is going smoothly without major disruptions. Though some critics try to nitpick small mishap, the overall process looks good.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

"Mass" vaccination center? That picture clearly shows otherwise. The local drivers license center can handle 10 times more people than that.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

They really need to provide some context about how these centres figure into the overall vaccination strategy because as other commenters have noted, the math just makes no sense, the numbers they are talking about are pathetically small compared to what is needed.

Are these centres just like a thing on the side they are operating to supplement the main vaccination locations where most vaccines will be given (in which case maybe this isn't so bad) or are THESE the main vaccination locations (in which case we would seem to be truly screwed)?

15 ( +15 / -0 )

I don't get the math... The centres will be open for 3 months, to inoculate 900,000 residents in Tokyo, 450,000 in Osaka... They need to double the capacity to achieve that.

900,000 residents require 1.8 million doses / 10,000 per day = 180 days is about 6 months.

450,000 residents require 0.9 million doses / 5,000 per day = 180 days...

And this is only about 10% of the elderly populations in those centres. Make no sense.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Tokyo, Osaka and neighboring prefectures!

GREAT (NOT!!!). Everything for the so-called safe Olympics.

Since we don't live in that (even) general area .... guess we have to wait a little longer.

And agreed that mass-vaccination calculation seems to be mis-calculated!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

As someone stated above, this is to supplement vaccinations already happening at clinics/hospitals. But I highly doubt the vaccinations at clinics/hospitals will make up the difference to fully vaccinate the elderly by August.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

People get vaccinated at hospitals and clinics besides big centers if they received vaccine ticket. Better go to the nearest hospital or clinic after making reservation. Big centers are going to be full soon.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Actually if they use AstraZeneca vaccine then 3 months would be do-able target.

1) Logistically it would be easier for elderly to get a 1 shot vaccine.

2) Elderly are not likely to develop the rare blood clotting side effect... since only a slight elevated risk in women aged 50 and younger.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Also, I think it foolish that they're only going to have these mass vaccination centers open for 3 months and not for as long as is necessary to vaccinate 70% of the population.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Japan will not use AstraZ vaccine for Japanese. Govt decided to send them overseas.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Perhaps Tokyo could vaccinate more efficiently if the area had a wide array of venues available for use.

https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/en/venues/

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I’m not defending Japan by any means but some people here seem to be under the impression these are the only places administering the vaccines.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/japan/

During the last week reported, Japan averaged about 275,597 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 92 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.

If we add 15,000/day for Tokyo and Osaka, and another 5,000 or so for Aichi and Miyagi, that would put daily average to around 300,000 vaccines, weekly would be over 2 million, with a cumulative total for 3 months at over 25 million.

If hypothetically the other 43 prefectures open their own mass vaccination centers, say similar to Aichi and Miyagi at around 2,000 vaccines daily, that would be an extra 86,000 vaccines per day, which would be around 7 million vaccines after 3 months.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

These large centers are in addition to the usual health centers and clinics. An added bonus! Aren't we lucky! :)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Does the Gov't think this picture is "mass vaccination"? That is only a few people? This isn't exactly a "mass vaccination" site.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It did not hurt and was over quickly," said a 66-year-old woman from Suginami Ward in Tokyo.

You read it here first folks! News worthy right here!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I watch the news this morning 1 nurse gave the jab, then babbled on and on, procedural stuff, then another nurse checked the paper work and made a big fuss about where to sit and wait 15min. Only then was another Person escorted in by another nurse!

I applaud the effort don’t get me wrong but really it was sooo drawn out. 3 people could have been done in the time it took, had not three nurses been involved. And a cubical for a jab? It’s not exploratory surgery. Get them in get them out. What’s with the paperwork? Better than a data base nobody can use and doesn’t work anyway is my guess.

‘But I applaud the effort.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

As kwatt and egads man! said above, but the article fails to mention clearly, (it's buried in there) these are supplementary venues to in a bid to accelerate the country's inoculation program and help the government meet its targets.

In other words, most people are already being vaccinated in a slew of other venues like local clinics and hospitals, which generally offer Pfizer.

I had my first shot on Friday 21 May, and a friend got hers last Monday, 17 May. Another friend is getting his first shot today. My second shot is at the same time and on the same day of the week on 11 June. It took an age to set up, like a bout of Sumo, but once it starts moving, it does seem to be rolling efficiently.

These new mass-vaccination centers offer Moderna, and the ability to short-cut if your booking seemed an age away or impossible to figure out.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thomas TankToday 11:23 am JST

Previously the gov had said their goal was 1,000,000 shots per day. @15,000 per day, Japan should be fully vaccinated in .... 43 years.

120,000,000 / 15000 * 2 / 365

Sorry, you did not pass the exam. 15000 is only for the two "mass vaccination centers" in Tokyo and Osaka. Not the whole country.

Now in average, 350000 get the shot everyday in Japan

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How about people with preexisting conditions like myself born with a hole in my heart and had to have stint put in it 4 year ago. I went to the Kuakusho a week ago Monday and they told me I would be lucky to get my shots by the earliest next spring and I am in my 50's...hmmm....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Now in average, 350000 get the shot everyday in Japan

That's still 1 year 10 months.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ashley, feel for you, but no-one here will ever give you the whole story, only one view.

Try two or three other places and aim for the exception, not the rule.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I want to be cautiously optimistic. This story is a good development. Now, what we need is more of this. At least one mass vaccination site in every ward of every town, and portable sites heading for the more remote areas in the countryside.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's not only about Tokyo and Osaka. I think, other cities will also follow soon and start vaccinations, yes, slowly and delay of maybe 3 months, but better than nothing.

Moderna vaccine arrives at 2 large sites in Aichi

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210523_11/

Moderna's coronavirus vaccine has arrived in Japan's Aichi Prefecture ahead of large-scale inoculations of the elderly.

The prefecture will start administering the vaccine on Monday at two large sites. One is at Nagoya Airport and the other is at Fujita Health University. Senior citizens living in nearby cities and towns are eligible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They really need to get someone that is better at organization.

The Japanese news reported on a single doctor in Fukui that got over 100 people vaccinated each hour just himself and 2 nurses.

He had everyone sit down in the hospital corridors had the syringes preloaded, sat on an office chair with wheels rolled up and down the corridors vaccinating everyone.

Moved them out to a waiting space the next batch of people came in sat down and he rolled his chair right down the line, next.

Now he should be in charge.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Now in average, 350000 get the shot everyday in Japan

That's still 1 year 10 months.

There are about 36,170,000 (elderly) people above age of 65, so It takes 3 months and 13 days.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

interesting timing..... open these centres just when Moderna gets the okay!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are about 36,170,000 (elderly) people above age of 65, so It takes 3 months and 13 days.

Nope longer, not open on weekends,

So 102 days approx 5 days a week about 5 months.

But what about the rest? The disabled, sick, and just plain us just under 65, it is not like the 64 year old is so much safer than the 65 year old.

I don't understand why some people are trying to put a spin on what has clearly been a total mess from the start.

Let's be honest, the booking system failed, the registration is complicated as usual, the number of available place and slots are very limited.

It is a pig and trying to put lipstick on it doesn't change the fact it is a pig.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

CarlosTakanakanaToday 12:32 pm JST

Actually if they use AstraZeneca vaccine then 3 months would be do-able target.

Unfortunately AstraZeneca vaccine is not only under review in Japan, but under review in various other countries too, especially in Europe.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They can get vaccinated at big centers (more soon) on Saturday and Sunday for 3 months. Some people don't get vaccinated intentionally. Maybe they don't want it from the beginning. As for me, 4 or 5 moths is not too bad.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yay! Imight get vaccinated this time next year!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But what about the rest? The disabled, sick, and just plain us just under 65, it is not like the 64 year old is so much safer than the 65 year old.

It seems to me Govt is trying to get as many elderly people as possible vaccinated first, and then sick, disabled people little later. Age is just line for system. Any system has some kind of line for apportioning.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Ashley Shiba: I'm somewhat amazed that you didn't have the J&J shot when you dropped your son off in Guam. Seems very remiss to me.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Why are they closing after only three months? There will still be many many more people (like me) who will need to be vaccinated.

Everything about this "mass program" (LOL) seems chuto-hanpa.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why are they closing after only three months?

Govt would extend more days if there were a lot of people not get vaccinated yet. Govt always extends more just like state of emergency a couple of times.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nakano ward in Tokyo already sent out info for 16-64 year old vaccinations. Starting June 28 can apply for a reservation at any 1 of 162 clinics/centers in the ward.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why aren’t the ubiquitous pharmacies available for shots?

If they were Japan’s residents would be done in no time...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why aren’t the ubiquitous pharmacies available for shots?

They don't have doctor/nurse license for medical practice. Pharmacy is not doctor/nurse.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

FYI, to those who still refuse to believe these sites aren't the only place to get vaccinated, here is the total breakdown as of 5/20, before the "mass" vaccination sites opened up:

https://japan.kantei.go.jp/ongoingtopics/vaccine.html

Total number of vaccine doses administered to date (as of May 20, 2021)

To healthcare professionals and others: 6,189,366 (1st: 3,865,493 2nd: 2,323,873)

To the elderly: 1,801,032 (1st: 1,663,020 2nd: 138,012)

For the prefecture breakdown, you have to look at the Japanese page. Tokyo seems to have picked up the pace from the last time I checked.

http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/headline/kansensho/vaccine.html

Elderly data per prefecture:

http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/content/KOREI-kenbetsu-vaccination_data.pdf

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"applaud the effort don’t get me wrong but really it was sooo drawn out. 3 people could have been done in the time it took, had not three nurses been involved. And a cubical for a jab? It’s not exploratory surgery."

You are describing UK policy procedures and practice on vaccinations.

100% similar.

Ask anyone who knows (and is going to be truthful about i)t, before dishing it out on Japan.

The UK, apparently a vaccination Champ does exactly the same.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why mass centers in Osaka and Tokyo?! This is only going to force the elderly in other prefectures to travel long distances and will put them at greater risk of infection.

Set up regional centers in each prefecture. Surely they have the logistics to get this done. Or maybe not...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The 2010 census put the 65+ population of Tokyo at 2.642 million

https://www.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/ENGLISH/ABOUT/HISTORY/history03.htm#:~:text=This%20number%20was%20divided%20into,respectively%2C%20of%20the%20overall%20population.

So using this site alone that's 264 days at full capacity. There is no indication of how many have already been vaccinated, nor what the capacity is of other sites in the Tokyo area . . . . so this is just window dressing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'd like the media here to begin reporting on the number of people vaccinated daily nationwide, total percentage of the population that are fully vaccinated, and percentage who have had at least one dose. It would help keep the government accountable.

Better yet, put a graphic with that data next to a countdown showing the number of days, hours, and seconds left until the Olympics begin.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I still remember back in January and February when Germany was starting its vaccination campaign, Germans were also complaining about the initial slow speed, saying things like „at this rate it takes X years to complete“ etc. 4 months later, Germany is doing about 5-6 million shots per week and all the negative voices have become silent.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there are many things that the Japanese could improve. However, give it a little bit of time until all pieces are in their places.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I see that many people are concerned about the excruciatingly slooooow vax rate to date. But we all know that Japan has an incredibly shallow and long lag phase to get everything started. They try to imagine and “solve” all imagined risks before they get going. This happens in business here, too. It’s not just the government, it is a cultural phenomenon.

And then, just when everyone is about to give up on Japan for failing, suddenly they hit an extremely steep log phase and zoom ahead of everyone, baffling the world.

I would not be surprised if before long, Japan gets her stuff together and “suddenly” we are approaching the head the pack. What? How?? When???

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

And than after 3 months the big centers are not necessary any more? What is wrong with this country? Why people are not upset and making big noise about the incompetence for the JP government. Every news and initiative at the moment makes things really worse. Need to find an alternative to get the vaccine because here it will take forever.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And then, just when everyone is about to give up on Japan for failing, suddenly they hit an extremely steep log phase and zoom ahead of everyone, baffling the world.

No it won't happen. If that happens before end of the year I would give you 10M yen.

Pretty much Japan wants the population to be dosed the domestic vaccines, which is an extremely protected industry with many political connections, so there's no motivation for them to speed up the vaccination process before domestic vaccines are approved.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I would not be surprised if before long, Japan gets her stuff together and “suddenly” we are approaching the head the pack. What? How?? When???

I would be. All other problems can solved, but not the lack of manpower to give shots. Frankly, I believe the only way to solve it is if the US Army comes to the rescue with medical personnel. The US has a vast interest of getting the Japan situation under control.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I still remember back in January and February when Germany was starting its vaccination campaign, Germans were also complaining about the initial slow speed, saying things like „at this rate it takes X years to complete“ etc. 4 months later, Germany is doing about 5-6 million shots per week and all the negative voices have become silent.

Germany's (and most European countries) problems are/were vaccine supply issues. Those European countries who took Eastern vaccines did not have this issue. Hungary, for example is at 55+% vaccination for at least 1 shot.

Vaccine supply issues are relatively easy to solve. Japan doesn't have this problem.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Peeping Tom, sorry you are wrong. Firstly the manpower constraints in Japan simply don’t exist in the UK, large number of people giving jabs including volunteers after short training. The process is very simple and facilitated by non medical staff and volunteers.

My experience, your name and address checked off days list on entry, seconds. Volunteer takes you to next free vaccine point, couple of simple standard questions recorded on to computer (no nurse needed) second person injects you and gives simple explanation of how long take to build to max protection, whole process about 3 minutes of that. 15 minute wait not 20 minutes if Pfizer in separate waiting area so doesn’t impede the vaccine flow at all and out the door. Straight out the door if AZ.

Blackflag, may be as they have had a year to prepare the pieces should already be in place?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

For those who comment on Japan will speed ahead with this vaccine, don't worry and all that other jazz that is all fine for you to say when you are not residing in a country that wants to bring in all these people from around the world with a whole lot of different variants of this virus for what a sport event. Yes, bring these people who want to win a piece of medal and so the IOC can fill their pockets at our expense and lives. Yes, that is right, when the majority of us citizens in this country are not vaccinated and are left defenseless....yeah.....keep on with those remarks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Peeping Tom, sorry you are wrong"

No, I am not.

My mother went through it, my Uncle too.

Other older people I know went through the exact same procedure at the Royal Free Hospital

They cannot be both all wrong.

"My experience, your name and address checked off days list on entry, seconds. Volunteer takes you to next free vaccine point, couple of simple standard questions recorded on to computer (no nurse needed) second person injects you and gives simple explanation of how long take to build to max protection, whole process about 3 minutes of that. 15 minute wait not 20 minutes if Pfizer in separate waiting area so doesn’t impede the vaccine flow at all and out the door. Straight out the door if AZ."

That was your experience, not everybody's.

I am not telling you you are wrong.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"What happens at the appointment

Your appointment should last for around 30 to 45 minutes."

"https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/what-happens-at-your-appointment/"

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

To be honest, I don't really care, I am just glad that the JP Gov is finally getting off their wrinkled arses and have the vaccination moving. FINALLY !!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I agree with trinijp. This is good news. Now they need many more of these sites.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@englisc aspyrgend

See my comment earlier on the doctor in Fukui doing around 100 vaccinations an hour.

He came up with a quick system where just he giving the shots can do 100 people an hour.

This was on the Japanese news the other day.

It shows that if someone has a brain and the will they can get things done.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some people here are giving misleading information about the procedure in the UK, so just to set the record straight, this is what happens:

Firstly, you are contacted automatically based on your age and given an appointment. The onus is not on you to do this. You are given a precise timed appointment at the nearest vaccination centre, which is usually your local doctor's surgery, but can also be a pharmacy, or hospital.

You turn up at the appointed time, your name is checked by a member of staff outside the centre, who also asks you a couple of quick questions and you then generally join a short outdoor queue - maybe lasting 1 or 2 minutes - until you enter the building, You are then immediately directed to next available vaccinator who jabs you in the arm and you then exit by a different door to the one you entered by.

The process is like being on a very quick production line. You never need sit down and are in and out in literally under 5 minutes. This is a very efficient process and over 70% of the adult population in the UK has now received at least one shot.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Some people here are giving misleading information about the procedure in the UK, so just to set the record straight, this is what happens:

Firstly, you are contacted automatically based on your age and given an appointment. The onus is not on you to do this. You are given a precise timed appointment at the nearest vaccination centre, which is usually your local doctor's surgery, but can also be a pharmacy, or hospital."

With all due respect, this is NOT what happens in every occasion/venue.

I went with my mother to the Royal Free and saw the whole process.

I know other people who were subjected to the same process as my mother and her brother.

I was not drunk as I don't drink.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I cannot understand how or why things in Japan are so complicated.

My home province in Canada usually known for messing everything up got it right on the first try.

For years the province has been using a readily available commercially booking software/App for yearly flu vaccine appointments.

They just took the same software/App and changed flu to covid and entered the list of locations and hours.

People just had to put in their basic information the software gives them a list of the closest location and available times they select one and done.

There was no need to create anything new as the available products already exists.

It took each family member about 5 minutes to get their appointment.

They showed up a few minutes before their time verified their appointment got vaccinated, sat down in observation for 15 minutes and went home total time was less than 30 minutes each.

Note that this commercially available software was apparently far cheaper than the ones other provinces had designed and had bugs for the first weeks.

These software/Apps are readily available why do governments insist on making something that is already available.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Bill Adams, yes precisely (though if you have the Pfizer one you are observed for 15 minutes).

Peeping Tom, if that was your experience fine, sorry it was not as smooth as it should have been but the general experience across the country is better than that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Minister Kono has the responsibility, and the power, to achieve high rates of vaccination. The question is whether he has the personal capacity or will to do so? When I see a minister in a government trying to blame others, or circumstances, I feel it is incredibly weak. Make it happen. Go kick some a... Vaccinating is not rocket science. Every other developed country could be used as an example of how to do it better. It would be hard to think of how it could be done worse. In Japan, aged 60, I will, in the next few weeks see my son, 18, in the UK get his vaccinations before me. At the present rate of vaccination, it will be decades before Japan has a safe level of vaccination in its population and Covid-19 will be a historic event we talk to our children about. But how many unnecessary deaths will there have been because of this enormous failure to act with decisive vision, creativity and energy, and how mutilated will the economy be, how restricted and limited everyone's lives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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