You are not forced to get vaccinated for the coronavirus (COVID-19). After the prefecture provides sufficient information to the public, we will only vaccinate people with their consent.
Before you get vaccinated, understand the vaccine's effectiveness against infection and any possible side effects. Getting vaccinated is up to you. You will not be vaccinated without your consent.
Do not force people around you or at your workplace to get vaccinated, and do not discriminate against people who do not get vaccinated.
Vaccinations will take place from February 17, 2021 through the end of February 2022. We will vaccinate healthcare workers first. Next, we plan to vaccinate the elderly, people with pre-existing conditions, etc., in that order. Vaccinations for the elderly may begin on April 12 in some cities or towns. At first, not all cities/towns will offer vaccinations, and the number of people will be limited. However, we will gradually expand vaccinations.
COVID-19 vaccines will be given to people who are 16 or older on the day of vaccination. Since more vaccines will be supplied gradually, vaccinations will take place in a pre-determined order.
At the moment, we plan to vaccinate in the following order. We aim to secure enough vaccines for everyone in Japan, so people who are waiting for their turn will be able to get vaccinated later.
1. Healthcare workers, etc.
2. Elderly people (people who turn 65 in fiscal year 2021 and who were born on or before April 1, 1957)
3. People with pre-existing conditions and nursing home workers, etc.
4. All other people
People who plan to get pregnant, are pregnant, are nursing, or who were previously infected with COVID-19 may also get vaccinated. For details, visit the Question and Answer page on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website（外部サイトへリンク） (automated translation to English, Chinese (traditional or simplified), and Korean).
Two doses of the vaccine are required.
For the Pfizer vaccine, usually you will receive a second dose three weeks after the first dose. If three weeks have already passed, then get the second dose as soon as possible.
In principle, the government will offer vaccinations at medical facilities or other sites set up by cities and towns, based on your registered address (the address on your residence certificate (juminhyo)).
Exact vaccination sites will be decided later. Please confirm using the information provided by your city or town.
People in the following situations will be able to get vaccinated outside of their place of residence. Detailed procedures will be announced later.
People currently hospitalized or recovering at a medical facility outside their place of residence
People with a pre-existing condition undergoing treatment at a medical facility.
People who do not live at their registered address.
Vaccination sites for healthcare workers, etc., will be announced by their employers.
The government will pay the vaccination costs for all residents, including foreigners. As the vaccination period approaches, cities and towns will provide more information and send vaccination vouchers.
In general, follow these steps to get vaccinated:
（1） Before the vaccination, your city or town will send you a vaccination voucher and a COVID-19 vaccination notice.
（2） Confirm that vaccinations are being offered for you.
（3） Find a medical facility or vaccination site where you can get vaccinated. (Check vaccination sites at the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare website（外部サイトへリンク）: automated translation for English, Chinese (simplified or traditional), and Korean.)
（4） Make a reservation by phone or online
（5） When you get vaccinated, you must bring the vaccination voucher sent by your city or town and proof of identity (driver's license, health insurance card, etc.).
Vaccination is free (all costs are paid by the government).
Various vaccines are administered with an aim to strengthen the immune system against infectious diseases or boost the recipient's immune response against them.
It has been confirmed that after a second dose, the recently approved COVID-19 vaccine has an effect of reducing the risk of the onset of symptoms such as fever or cough by 95%. (Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between roughly 40% and 60%.)
There are many aspects still unknown about the novel coronavirus. Infections by this virus have resulted in more than 6,000 deaths and over 30,000 hospitalizations as of the end of January 2021. Specific remedies for it are still in the development stage.
Vaccination generally results in some side reactions such as swelling or pain in the area the shot was administered, fever, or headaches. While vaccinations very rarely cause severe reactions which require treatment or leave disabling aftereffects, it is also impossible to eliminate the risk of side reactions arising. (Damage to health caused by vaccinations is subject to remedial measures under the law.)
When anaphylaxis or serious symptoms suspected by a doctor to be connected to the vaccination arise, these cases will be reported to the Government of Japan and experts will assess the situation, in accordance with the law. These reports will include cases such as the worsening of underlying conditions or death after vaccination in which a causal relationship with the vaccination cannot be immediately assessed. In such cases the Government will gather a wider range of information and conduct an assessment.
The frequency of anaphylaxis, an acute allergic reaction to components within the vaccine, has been reported to be approximately five cases per million vaccine recipients in the United States since the vaccine became available to the public. For vaccines administered in Japan, each vaccine recipient is observed for 15 to 30 minutes after the injection is given, and should anaphylaxis occur, necessary treatment will be provided by medical professionals.
When anaphylaxis or serious symptoms suspected by a doctor to be connected to the vaccination arise, these cases will be reported to the Government and experts will assess the situation, in accordance with the law. These reports will include cases such as the worsening of underlying conditions or death after vaccination in which a causal relationship with the vaccination cannot be immediately assessed. In such cases the Government will gather a wider range of information and conduct an assessment.
In addition, the Government is scheduled to conduct a study on health conditions after COVID-19 vaccinations. The study will cover around 3 million people in total, including 10 to 20 thousand people who receive an early dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
We will continually assess the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in this manner and provide information on the vaccines' safety.
In granting approval to the COVID-19 vaccine and recommending vaccination, the Government has confirmed, based on data from tens of thousands of people in Japan and overseas, that the benefits of vaccination, such as preventing the onset of symptoms, outweigh the drawbacks, including side reactions. The Government is working to provide information so that citizens can understand the situation and make their decision accordingly.
The vaccine will:
Prevent infection (vaccinated people will not get infected)
Prevent outbreaks (decrease in number of cases)
Prevent serious symptoms (decrease in serious cases: deaths, hospitalizations, etc.)
Provide herd immunity (effects will also extend to unvaccinated people)
However, side effects cannot be completely eliminated. You may experience side effects from the vaccine.
(This includes frequent but relatively mild side effects, as well as rare but serious side effects.)
Accordingly, when deciding whether to get vaccinated or not, you must look at the risks from infection based your age, medical history, etc.; the benefits of vaccination (effectiveness); and possible side effects (safety).