Many people have been asking when they will be able to receive their vaccinations. While things are still somewhat unclear, the following information is available.
Mass vaccines for the elderly (65+) should start from April 12. Initially in the first week 250,000 doses will be available throughout Japan.
They aim to finish vaccinating the elderly within 2 months, 3 weeks, so in July. However each local government will be in charge of distribution so the inoculation rate will vary by area.
They are currently vaccinating medical staff (since February 17th) and aim to finish this by the end of May. This group comprises of 3.7 million people.
After this, they will give priority to the 8.2 million people with underlying illnesses and the 2 million aged care workers. After that, everyone aged 16+ will be eligible, best case scenario in July. You can use this app to check your eligibility date: https://newsdigest.jp/pages/yosoku (This is no guarantee, delays and supply issues can and likely will still happen).
To check numbers vaccinated so far, go to: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/vaccine_sesshujisseki.html
What vaccine will you get?
Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca will be available.
Pfizer – the government has a contract to supply 72 million people by the end of the year.
Moderna – The Japanese government has signed a contract to receive supply for 25 million people by September. It’s expected to be approved around May.
AstraZeneca – AstraZeneca has applied for approval from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, has a contract with the Japanese government to supply vaccines for 60 million people, and if approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, from domestic manufacturing bases. More than 40 million people are expected to be supplied.
How to get the vaccine?
Vaccination will be carried out by each local government. As a general rule, you will be vaccinated at the municipality where your resident card is registered, but if there are unavoidable circumstances, you can also receive the vaccination at other municipalities. Your city, or “ku” will send you a coupon for getting the free vaccination After receiving the coupon, make a reservation by phone. At the vaccination venue you must bring the coupon and your ID. There will be a preliminary examination where you will need to fill out a questionnaire about your health condition.
Those who have completed the vaccination will receive a “certificate of vaccination” with the date and other information. The “certificate of vaccination” contains information such as which vaccine you have vaccinated, and you will need it when you receive your second vaccination. It is important to note that you cannot return home immediately after vaccination.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare requires that follow-up be carried out on the spot for at least 15 minutes after vaccination.