Ultimate guide to COVID-19 Mass Vaccination in Japan

How it goes, how to apply in your registered address area, and what to do

For non-Japanese-speakers who live in Japan as registered residents and willing to receive a shot, I feel your frustration by the lack of information in English. So, here they are, your bundled-up resource of needed information on COVID-19 mass vaccination rollout with your action plan.

At this moment (June 2021, Tokyo, Japan), the vaccinations for the top priority target category people (health care workers, senior citizens, and then for people with underlying disease, etc.) are in the full swing. And therefore the Japanese government is now preparing to expand the scope of vaccine rollout to the entire population in Japan.

However, non-Japanese-speaker residents who are waiting to receive their vaccine vouchers may still not be able to make an appointment or receive the shots if they do not understand Japanese.

Here, you can find a complete guide on the total flow of each stage from your booking, getting prepared, until the vaccination day in step-by-step explanations.

In the first part “1. What are the steps to go? Where do I start from?“, you’ll know all needed preparation before visiting the mass vaccination venue/facility.

And in the latter part “2. What actually happens in the mass vaccination center?” tells you all the process in the mass vaccination center.

The Prevaccination Screening Questionnaires for COVID-19 vaccine (medical questionnaire) sample with each field’s English meaning and entry guide
 that supports you in filling out the needed fields can also be found for your handy supporting tool.

Hope this article helps to cast some light upon the current sort-of-left-behind situation for non-Japanese-speakers in Japan.

1. What are the steps to go? Where do I start from?

The brief overall steps to go are;

  • The first thing to do is to patiently WAIT until the vaccination starts with the category group you’d fall into.

  • When your turn comes closer, you will receive a vaccination voucher in postal mail at your registered address. This is enclosed with a letter ‘COVID-19 Vaccination Information’ and short medical questionnaires from the municipality of your residence. Keep all the papers safely for later use.ATTENTION!: DO NOT peel off the affix labels from your vaccination voucher.Postal Mail Envelope Sample Image

Vaccination Voucher Sample Image

  • Choose your vaccination venue/facility near you.
    Prefecture and city/village-wise list of available venues/facilities can be found HERE, although, the web is currently in Japanese only. The basic idea to use this venue-near-you finder is to go on choosing the address starting from your prefecture, followed by city/village/etc. until you reach the available venues information.

    Tip
    = It’s always worthy to tell your family doctor if you’re seeing regularly for a chronic disease that you’re concerned about being vaccinated by someone who doesn’t know your health condition very well at your next visit.

    Maybe your regularly visiting facility can arrange to give you a shot there when your turn comes (even if the facility is not in the area of your registered address). Or you’ll have a bit of useful advice, at least.
  • Once your venue/facility is chosen, book your vaccination online or by phone at the municipality of your residence’s official vaccination booking website/phone number. The booking web/phone information should be on the letter enclosed with your vaccine voucher. Sorry, this needs to be done in Japanese again…

    To support your vaccination booking online, the word-for-word Japanese – English term collection is shown below. Refer to this to enter the needed fields online, then specify the venue, date, and time of your vaccination. However, the booking system’s entry prompts differ by the municipality, so you may need to deal with additional screen/s or entry to reach the booking entry screen.

    Generally, the online booking steps have 3 processes; 1) Log in with your voucher ID and password, 2) your personal data entry, and 3) booking entry. 
    Word-for-word Japanese – English term table with entry guide
予約する Book now Click to start booking.
接種券番号 Your Vaccination Voucher ID Number Enter the number printed on your voucher as 券番号, above the bar-code and your name.
生年月日/パスワード Date of birth/Password At the login screen, your date of birth will be asked as a password.
See example in the right side of this field =>
Ex. 1996/Mar/5 => 19960305
ログイン Log in Click to log in.
姓 (カナ) Family name (Katakata) Enter your family name as printed on your voucher. Use the same Japanese Katakana or alphabetical letters used on your voucher.
名 (カナ) Given name/s (Katakana) Enter your given name/s as printed on your voucher.
生年月日:  年  月  日 Date of birth:  Year   Month   Day Enter your date of birth following the order of entry fields.
電話番号 Contact telephone number
次へ To the next screen Click to proceed to the next screen.
接種会場 Vaccination venue/facility Either select from the drop-down list or enter the name of the venue/facility.
ワクチンの種類 Vaccine product ファイザー(Pfizer)  モデルナ(Moderna)  アストラゼネカ(AstraZeneca) This field may be fixed to the available product and not selectable.
希望日時 Date and time to book your vaccination Probably, there will be the Year Month Day boxes to enter, followed by a calendar date selection prompt to select open slots and then for time. Just follow the navigation. Days/times with X means not available, while circled ones are available to book.
確認する Confirm the entry
内容を修正 Make change/s to your entry
予約を確定 Confirm and send your booking
  • In advance of your vaccination appointment date, be prepared by filling out the needed entry fields on your medical questionnaire. The word-for-word translated English samples to help you fill them out are shown below.

    Please note the sample is for you to know the meaning of each field, the originally enclosed Japanese version needs to be used when actually filling it out comparing with the sample picture. There should be two blank questionnaires enclosed (maybe only one if your vaccine is single dose type). One for the 1st and one for the 2nd dose, so be sure to keep the extra one until the 2nd dose time.

  • Please fill in or check the sections indicated by the blue boxes in the picture above (some should be left blank until you arrive at the test site). Do not fill in any of the other fields.
    The numbers at the beginning of the following sentences explain the entries in the numbers in the blue boxes in the picture.

1. Your address, name, and phone number

住民票に記載されている住所 The registered address printed on your residence card
都道府県 Write the prefecture name and circle the Kanji if you live in;
都 – Tokyo
道 – Hokkaido
府 – Osaka/Kyoto
県 – Other prefectures
市区町村 Write the city/town/village name and circle the Kanji if you live in;
市 – city
区 – address’s suffix is ‘-ku’
町 – address’s suffix is ‘-cho/machi’
村 – address’s suffix is ‘-son/mura’
フリガナ Your name in Katakata (maybe unneeded)
氏名 Your name
電話番号 Tel number


2. Date of birth, age, gender, body temp at the time of filling out

 

生年月日 Date of birth
年 月 日 Year  Month  Day Year: 4 digits
Month/Day: 2 digits   ex.)  6 July => Month 07 Day 06
満   歳 Age Write your age between 満 and 歳.  ex.) 35 years old => 満 35 歳
男 女 Male    Female Check one
診察前の体温 Body temperature before screening Leave it blank until they take your body temperature upon your arrival at the vaccine site on your test day. 
Ex. ) To enter 36.5°C => 36 5


3. Check the box that applies.

はい Yes
いいえ No
新型コロナワクチンの接種を初めてうけますか
(受けたことがある場合、1回目 月 日、2回目 月 日)
Is this the first time for you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
(If no, write the date/s of your dose/s in the past.
Date of 1st dose: mm  /   dd,
Date of 2nd dose: mm   /      dd)
現時点で住民票のある市町村と、クーポン券に記載されている市町村は同じですか Is the city, town, or village of address you currently reside the same as the one printed on your voucher?
「新型コロナワクチンの説明書」を読んで、効果や副反応等について理解しましたか Have you read the “Instructions for the COVID-19 vaccine” enclosed with your voucher and understood the effects and adverse side effects?
接種順位の上位となる対象グループに該当しますか
– 医療従事者等
– 65歳以上
– 60-64歳
– 高齢者施設等の従事者
– 基礎疾患を有する(病名              )
Do you fall into one of the following target groups with a higher priority for vaccination?
– health care workers, etc.
– Age 65 and over
– Age 60-64
– Worker at senior citizen’s facilities
– Have an underlying disease (Name of the disease:
現在何らかの病気にかかって治療(投薬など)をうけていますか
病名
– 心臓病
– 腎臓病
– 肝臓病
– 血液疾患
– 血が止まりにくい病気
– 免疫不全その他治療内容:
– 血をサラサラにする薬()
– その他
Are you currently suffering from any kind of illness and receiving treatment or medication?
Name of the disease :
– heart disease
– kidney disease
– liver disease
– blood disease
– bleeding disorder
– immune system deficiencyDescribe if you are receiving other treatment/medicine:
– blood-thinning medicine ( medicine name    )
– Others
最近1ヵ月以内に熱が出たり、病気にかかったりしましたか
病名 ( )
Have you had a fever or gotten sick in the last month?
今日、体に具合が悪いところがありますか
症状()
Are you feeling sick or any parts of your body not right today?
Describe symptoms (          )
けいれん(ひきつけ)を起こしたことがありますか Have you ever had a convulsion (seizure)?
薬や食事などで重いアレルギー症状(アナフィラキシーなど)を起こしたことがありますか

薬・食事など原因になったもの()

Have you ever experienced severe allergic reaction symptoms (such as anaphylaxis)?
Describe medication/food that caused the allergic reactions
(        )
これまでに予防接種を受けて具合が悪くなったことはありますか
種類()
症状()
Have you ever had an allergic reaction (felt sick) to another vaccine or an injectable medication?
– Type of vaccine/injection (     )
– Symptoms (     )
現在妊娠している可能性(生理が予定より遅れているなど)はありますか。または授乳中ですか Is there a possibility that you might be pregnant? (i.e., your period is belated than expected)? Or are you breastfeeding?
2週間以内に予防接種を受けましたか
種類()
受けた日()
Have you received any vaccines in the last 14 days?
– Type of vaccine
– Date of dose
今日の予防接種について質問がありますか Do you have any questions about the vaccine today?


4. Consent to Receive the Vaccine

新型コロナワクチン接種希望書
医師の診察・説明を受け、接種の効果や副反応などについて理解した上で、接種を希望しますか。この予診票は、接種の安全性の確保を目的としています。
このことを理解の上、本予診票が市町村、国民健康保険中央会及び国民健康保険団体連合会に提出されることに同意します。
Consent to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine
After receiving a medical examination and explanation from a doctor and understanding the effects and side effects of the vaccine, do you wish to receive this vaccine? I understand this and consent to this prevaccination Screening Questionnaire being submitted to the municipal government, the All Japan Federation of National Health Insurance Organizations, and the National Health Insurance Organization.
(接種を希望します) I want to be vaccinated
(接種を希望しません) I do not wish to be vaccinated


5. Date and your signature

年     月      日 Year        Month        Day
被接種者又は保護者自署
(*自署できない場合は代表者が署名し、代表者指名及び被接種者との続柄を記載)
Signature of the vaccinated person or their guardian
(*If the person to be vaccinated is unable to sign the form by him/herself, a representative must sign the form, and the representative’s name and relationship to the person to be vaccinated must be indicated.)
(*被接種者が16歳未満の場合は保護者自署、成年被後見人の場合は本人又は成年後見人自署) (*In the case of a person under 16 years of age, the form must be signed by the guardian; in the case of an adult ward, the form must be signed by the person himself/herself or the adult guardian.)

 

  • Here’s the checklist before you step out of your house on your vaccination appointment day.

Make sure you have/are;
– no fever or obvious irregular body symptoms
– wearing an outfit easy to expose your shoulders to get a shot on the deltoid muscle in your upper arm
– vaccination voucher/medical questionnaire/your ID (residence card/passport/driver’s license/etc.) to bring with you
– wearing a mask

 

Alright, now you’re all set and ready to go visit your vaccination facility/venue!

2. What actually happens in the mass vaccination center?

Of course, let me cover this part for you, as well 🙂
There may be small differences by each center of each prefecture, or if you’re getting it at your family doctor’s clinic,  but the basic idea is mutual and goes like as below.

  • Sanitize your hands and take your temperature at the entrance.
    (You may need to wait in a line at an appropriate distance if many people are already there before you.)
  • Check-in at wherever used as the check-in counter
    – They’ll probably ask your name first to check if your name is on the day’s vaccination booking list.
    Show your ID, vaccination voucher, and medical questionnaire at this counter.
    – A (public health) nurse will interview you about your health condition of the day and confirm all the entries in your medical questionnaire are filled properly at this point or you may need to stay at the waiting area and wait until your turn comes to get this short interview.
  • Then, you’ll move to the area of the medical doctor’s pre-examination in/near the vaccination area.
    – Here, a medical doctor will interview you to decide if you’re in a vaccine-ready condition.
    – The doctor also explains the effectiveness of the vaccination, possible adverse reactions, and the vaccination health damage relief system to obtain your consent.
    You’ll proceed to the next step only when the both of above is YES.
  • Get vaccinated on your non-dominant arm.
  • They’ll affix the vaccine product label on your vaccination voucher and stamp it as a record. Keep this voucher safe until your 2nd doze.
  • You’ll now proceed to the resting area for post-vaccination condition monitoring for 15 – 30 minutes.
    In case you feel sick after the vaccination, you can receive first aid treatment from medical staff in the first aid area/room.

Congrats! It gotta have been a hard day for you, but it’s over!!!

I guess now you might be wondering if there’ll be any English-speaking staff available at the vaccine site for your pre-interviews, which I, too, agree doesn’t seem very likely to happen… So, I decided to offer continued support with your communication at the vaccination site by writing the next article with a handy collection of Japanese – English vocabulary words to use in your vaccine site and typical interview phrases you can even use by pointing for simple communication, how’s that!?
If you think they’re useful, please, stay tuned for more posts!