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Novel Coronavirus Vaccines

Total number of vaccine doses administered to date (as of May 10, 2021)

  • To healthcare professionals and others: 4,318,682 (1st: 3,101,320 2nd: 1,217,362)
  • To the elderly: 415,814 (1st: 400,115 2nd: 15,699)

On Effectiveness (February 2, 2021)


On Side Reactions (February 2, 2021)



Prevent patients from developing symptoms
Important instrument to reduce burdens over hospitals
Any vaccine has a side reaction
Safety is the highest priority
Priority groups for vaccination
Available at no cost
Better informed about vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are confirmed primarily to prevent the onset of symptoms

  • 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%.)


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COVID-19 vaccines will be an important instrument in reducing the burdens shouldered by medical institutions, once rolled out.

  • 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.

  • Against this backdrop, it is expected that inoculations to the wider public will reduce the number of cases of severe symptoms and mortality, thereby reducing the burden on the medical institutions.


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 All vaccines have the risk of side reactions occurring.

  • 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.)

  • In domestic clinical trials of the vaccine that was newly approved, after two doses, roughly 80% of recipients had experienced pain in the area the shot was administered, about 33% had experienced fevers of 37.5℃ or higher, and around 60% had experienced fatigue or lethargy.

  • 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.


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We will continually assess the safety of COVID-19 vaccines even after the approval.

  • 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.


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There are groups that will receive priority in getting the COVID-19 vaccination.

  • The Government intends to secure the number of vaccine doses necessary to be able to provide vaccines to all citizens. Since vaccines can only be procured in multiple phases, reductions in the number of patients with severe symptoms and the number of deaths are expected by first vaccinating those at a high risk of developing severe symptoms. It is also important to protect the medical treatment structure.

  • Therefore, the Government intends to administer vaccines in the following order:
        1) health care professionals and others who provide medical treatment for COVID-19 patients and others directly,
        2) persons aged 65 or higher, and
        3) people having underlying conditions or staff who interact directly with users of elderly care facilities.
    Vaccination for the general public aged 16 or higher will commence afterwards.


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Free of charge

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available free of charge to anyone eligible.

  • The Government intends to enable the public to be vaccinated free of charge; The costs of vaccination for all eligible residents, including foreign residents, is expected to be covered in full by public funds. Shortly before it is your turn to opt to receive the vaccination, the municipality in which you reside will send you a notice and voucher.


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Know better

Make your decision after becoming well informed about the vaccine.

  • 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.


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 For more information

  • Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare COVID-19 Vaccine Website (Japanese Only) Open New Window
  • Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare COVID-19 Website (English)Open New Window
  • For detailed information related to COVID-19 vaccination, please visit the website of the prefectural government of your place of residency.

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