The Covid-19 vaccine rollout is now in full swing in Japan. Members of the general public under age 65 have started receiving jabs at universities and workplaces as well as at the mass vaccination centres in Tokyo and Osaka operated by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).
While it’s taken some time for vaccines to be distributed, the government has set a target of ensuring all willing adults receive their jabs by the end of November. With applications for Covid-19 vaccine passports now open, residents are especially eager to receive their vaccines. Here is what you need to know about booking your Covid-19 vaccination in Japan.
Local municipalities began mailing free vaccine coupons to residents (including foreign nationals) earlier in June. Upon receiving your coupon, you can book a time to receive your vaccine at a designated clinic within your ward.
Some wards are also distributing a limited number of vaccine coupons over the counter at their ward offices, meaning those who have yet to receive their coupon via post can bypass the wait time by collecting their coupon in person at the ward office. Note that the vaccine coupons distributed at the ward office can only be used to book an appointment at the SDF mass vaccination centres. Check the official website of your local ward office to see the number of coupons still available each day.
Booking an appointment
Your coupon should come with a link to an online booking site where you can enter the ID number from your coupon and make a booking at a local clinic.
Alternatively, you can check the list of inoculation sites in your area. Then, visit the website of the designated clinic closest to you, or contact them via phone to inquire about the next available booking.
Reservations for vaccines at the Tokyo mass inoculation centre can be booked online or via telephone. An English booking hotline is available from 7am to 9pm daily: 0570 056 750.
Who can get vaccinated?
Until recently, the only vaccines available to the general public in Japan were the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which have been approved for use on people aged 12 and over. However, The Japan Times reports that the government has now approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for people over age 40 and will prioritise distributing doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to the six prefectures currently under a state of emergency (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka and Okinawa).
See the government’s list of inoculation sites for information on which vaccines are available in your area.
What to bring to your appointment
On the day of your reservation, remember to bring your vaccine coupon, a valid form of ID (driver’s license, residence card, etc) and the completed Prevaccination Screening Questionnaire.
There are 17 translations of the questionnaire available online for reference: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), English, French, Indonesian, Khmer, Korean, Mongolian, Myanmar, Nepalese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese. Just be sure to submit the original Japanese version of the document.
One down, one to go
As both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two separate doses for a full vaccination, you will need to make another booking following your first jab for the second dose. Just follow the same method you used to book your first shot.
The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is typically scheduled three weeks following the first vaccine, whereas the second dose of the Moderna vaccine is scheduled four weeks after the first dose.
To find out more about Japan’s vaccine rollout for the general public, see our tentative timeline. You can also read up on the vaccines and the inoculation process on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website (available in 17 different languages).
This article was originally published on June 22 and updated on August 4.
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