June 18, 2021
  • Rakuten Group, Inc.
  • Rakuten Medical Japan K.K.

Rakuten and Rakuten Medical Take “Kobe Model” Nationwide

- Contributing to nationwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations by providing expertise from Noevir Stadium Kobe vaccination operations to hot springs associations, local authorities and companies in tourism areas through Rakuten Travel and other group companies

Tokyo, June 18, 2021 – Rakuten Group, Inc. and Rakuten Medical Japan K.K. today announced plans to take the “Kobe Model” mass vaccination operation nationwide. In a Japan-first collaboration between industry, academia and government, the operations model launched in May 2021 and targeting capacity of over 7,000 daily vaccinations at Noevir Stadium Kobe will be expanded across Japan in order to increase the country’s vaccination capacity.

In addition to building a collaborative framework between industry, academia and government, the Kobe Model aims to minimize the labor required for vaccinations while also ensuring speedy and safe delivery. It is optimized to shorten the time required from reception to vaccination to approximately four minutes, utilizing partitions to split vaccination booths and increase capacity. To make efficient use of time required by medical professionals, the operation also leverages an online pre-examination system through which doctors can carry out examinations remotely, eliminating the need for them to physically travel to each vaccination center.

Rakuten Travel has received many inquiries regarding the Kobe Model from local authorities, tourism organizations in popular travel destinations and other interested organizations. Rakuten is already working to provide versatile operation guidelines and manuals to around 30 governmental, corporate and tourism organizations across Japan in response to requests, with the goal of ending the pandemic as swiftly as possible. Further consultation and collaboration on vaccination center setup and operations is also planned through Rakuten Travel, with the goal of expanding the scope of nationwide vaccination efforts.

An outline of the Kobe Model will be published and updated regularly on the following page, along with new developments and total cumulative vaccination numbers: https://travel.rakuten.co.jp/info/kobe/vaccine/ (*Japanese page)

As previously announced, Rakuten Group and Rakuten Medical Japan will provide COVID-19 vaccinations in an efficient and safe manner to all employees and their family members in Japan who elect to receive them in an effort to prevent infections, severe cases and clusters from occurring, and ultimately to contribute to the early achievement of herd immunity and resumption of economic activities in Japan. Starting June 21, workplace vaccinations will be carried out at the company’s headquarters, Rakuten Crimson House, in Futako-Tamagawa, Tokyo, with further workplace vaccinations to follow at regional branches. The new vaccination centers will leverage the expertise Rakuten has attained from having run its Kobe Model mass vaccination operation.

At Rakuten Crimson House, the operation will launch with the capacity to vaccinate 1,000 employees (including indirect hires) per day from the Greater Tokyo area, with plans to expand that capacity to 5,000 per day. With the establishment of further vaccination centers at Rakuten’s regional offices to follow, Rakuten aims to allow approximately 60,000 employees and their family members to be vaccinated as swiftly as possible.

Rakuten also aims to expand its total daily vaccination capacity to over 30,000 by partnering with new organizations to open and support the establishment of additional vaccination centers. The company is currently considering the possibility of providing vaccinations to members of local communities adjacent to its vaccination centers, partners and affiliated companies*, subject to conditions stipulated by relevant regulatory bodies. In parallel with these initiatives, the company aims to contribute to the further expansion of the vaccination rollout by offering additional support through Rakuten Travel.

Rakuten is committed to bringing its best possible efforts to help bring about a swift end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Priority will be given to business partners and affiliated companies with employees in the service sector.

The Kobe Model in action

  • To speed up operations, two recipients are vaccinated in the same booth separated by a partition.
  • Through online pre-examinations, medical professionals can carry out examinations remotely, eliminating travel concerns and ensuring consistent availability of doctors and efficient operations.
  • Operation guidelines overview (draft subject to change.)

Dry runs of vaccination operations at Rakuten Crimson House conducted on June 17.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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