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Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program

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As COVID-19 vaccination programs are rolled-out in countries around the world, Japan will also be implementing a phased vaccination schedule from mid-February 2021. The following page provides an overview of program roll-out including:

1 / COVID-19 Vaccination in Japan: Latest News

2 / COVID-19 Update inc. Numbers in Japan

3 / Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program

4 / Stages of Vaccination in Japan

5 / Japan COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

6 / COVID-19 Vaccination Timeline

Please note, that this page is primarily intended for users outside of Japan. We hope it is helpful in planning your future travel to Japan. This page is not intended to be an exhaustive resource for people living in Japan.

1 / COVID-19 VACCINATION IN JAPAN: LATEST NEWS


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As of March 8th 2021, Japan is reporting*:

Administered vaccinations: 70,796

The above data is taken from the ourworldindata.org website which includes vaccination data for countries around the world. For further information about how Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination program will work, refer to the information below.

*We update reported numbers every Monday and whenever there’s an important development.

Latest News:

Feb-23 2021: the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has announced the first vaccinations in Japan. A total of 11,934 persons have been vaccinated as of 5PM on February 22nd 2021.

Feb-03 2021: Japan’s Prime Minister, Suga Yoshihide, has announced that the first vaccinations in Japan will begin in mid-February, ahead of the expected start date at the end of February. The vaccination program will begin with trial innoculation of 10,000 healthcare workers before all essential healthcare workers – an estimated 3.7 million people – become the first large group to receive the vaccine.

2 / COVID-19 UPDATE inc. NUMBERS IN JAPAN


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Our ‘COVID-19 Update’ page includes the latest numbers and news of what’s happening in Japan. We update the page every Monday and whenever there’s an important development.

3 / JAPAN’S COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAM


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Japan will be using different vaccines having signed contracts for a supply of 314 million does including:

— 144 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine

— 120 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

— 50 million doses of the Moderna vaccine

The vaccination program in Japan is set to begin in March 2021, starting with healthcare and other critical workers before moving onto persons aged 65 and above and finally, the general public. Japan has a population of around 125 million people. The Pfizer vaccine is likely to be the first approved and used in Japan.

4 / STAGES OF VACCINATION IN JAPAN


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While full details are not yet known, it has been announced that vaccinations will begin in mid-February 2021, starting with:

STAGE 1: front-line healthcare workers and persons required to be in contact with COVID-19 positive people will be priotised, starting with vaccination of 10,000 healthcare workers participating in safety trials from mid-February before an estimated 3.7 million health care workers are inoculated from March onward.

STAGE 2: persons aged 65 and older – a group estimated to be around 36 million people and considered to be of higher risk if they contract COVID-19 – will be vaccinated from mid-March or early-April onward.

STAGE 3: persons aged under 65 with underlying health conditions will be vaccinated next, as this group is also a higher risk on severe symptoms should they contract COVID-19. People aged 20 to 64 with underlying health conditions are estimated to total around 8.2 million and are expected to begin vaccination in April or later.

STAGE 4: the general public will then be eligible for vaccination with certain groups, such as pregnant women, not eligible due to insufficient information about the effect of the vaccine on them. It has also been suggested that vaccines will only be made available to persons over the age of 16 however full details are not yet available. It is expected that vaccination of the general public will begin sometime from June or later.

5 / JAPAN COVID-19 VACCINE FAQs


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There are lots of questions swirling around about how Japan’s vaccination program will be rolled-out. The answers to some of those questions are known while others are still unclear. These are some of the most common questions:

Which vaccine is Japan using?

Japan is using three different vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer (from the United States) and AstraZeneca (from the United Kingdom). Approximately 314 million doses have been procured to cover Japan’s population of around 125 million people. The Pfizer vaccine is likely to be the first approved and used in Japan.

When will vaccination begin and how will it work?

The first inoculations are expected to begin in mid-February 2021, starting with a test group of essential health workers before vaccination of all key health workers in Japan, followed by the elderly, persons with underlying health conditions and eventually the general public. See above for further details.

Who will be vaccinated first?

Essential health workers – which totals a group of around 3.7 million people – will be prioritised before persons aged 65 and over are the first people within the general public to be vaccinated. See above for further details.

Why is Japan starting vaccination later than other countries?

In recent years, Japan has a history of proceeding cautiously when it comes to testing and approving vaccines. In-keeping with that cautious approach, the government is allowing adequate time for necessary testing of candidate vaccines

Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to Japan?

At this time, entry for most foreign nationals – other than foreign residents and some business travellers – is not possible. As vaccination programs are rolled-out around the world, it has not yet been announced whether proof that you have been vaccinated will become an entry requirement or if priority will be given to those who have been inoculated. We will update this page as further information becomes available.

I am a foreign resident of Japan. Am I eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes. The government has announced that foreign residents of Japan will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination as long as their residence is registered with a municipality.

6 / COVID-19 VACCINATION TIMELINE


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The following timeline is intended to provide a historical snapshot of Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination program:

Feb-22 2021: the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has announced the first vaccinations in Japan. A total of 11,934 persons have been vaccinated as of 5PM on February 22nd 2021.

Feb-03 2021: Japan’s Prime Minister, Suga Yoshihide, has announced that the first vaccinations in Japan will begin in mid-February, ahead of the expected start date at the end of February. The vaccination program will begin with trial innoculation of 10,000 healthcare workers before all essential healthcare workers – an estimated 3.7 million people – become the first large group to receive the vaccine.