The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) announced in an administrative notice dated March 31, 2021(in Japanese）that foreign nationals without a status of residence (e.g., provisional release permit) could get vaccines for COVID-19. In addition, in an administrative communication dated September 10, 2021(in Japanese), it was clarified that people who were granted permission to stay “within 3 months” could also be vaccinated.
However, since they do not have resident registration, they must present an official document* showing their address and request the issuance of a “Vaccination voucher”.
Because the procedure differs from municipality to municipality, it is necessary to contact the call center or the department in charge first.
*Official documents showing address: provisional release permit, utility bill notice, etc.
① Ask the municipal office where you live to issue a “Vaccination voucher”.
② Receive the “Vaccination voucher”
③ Make a reservation to the place to have vaccinated.
It is not easy for foreign nationals to request a vaccination voucher on their own since call centers sometimes tell them to register as a resident first and then contact us again.
If you know people who cannot access to COVID-19 Vaccination,
・Please let them know that vaccinations are free of charge even if they do not have a status of residence.
・Please support them in the issuance of vaccination vouchers.
・If it is difficult for them to make an appointment by themselves, please make an appointment on your behalf.
・Please help them to fill out the Japanese version of the “prevaccination screening questionnaire”.
●Make a reservation
After you have received a vaccination voucher, you need to make a reservation as usual. You will find information on how to make a reservation along with the vaccination voucher, but in most municipalities, you need to check the website for details. Due to the language barrier, it is difficult to get the necessary information and understand clearly.
Online booking has become the mainstream, but some people do not have internet access at home or do not have a smartphone or PC. Even if they can access the online reservation page, they may not know how to enter the information.
For those who do not speak Japanese fluently, making a reservation by phone is even more difficult.
●Filling out “Prevaccination Screening Questionnaire”
You have to fill out the prevaccination screening questionnaire, written in Japanese. Translations are available in various languages, but it is the Japanese version that you will need on the day of vaccination. Therefore, it is required to refer to each language version and then transcribe it into the Japanese version.
As you can see, many obstacles are waiting for them before they can be vaccinated.
We would like to ask for your cooperation so that as many people as possible can be vaccinated.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact ISSJ.
ISSJ will update the status of each local municipality response as needed.
Please click here (link to Google Drive) for the procedure of issuing vaccination vouchers that ISSJ is aware of at present.
*This information is current at the time of ISSJ’s inquiry after May 2020. ISSJ is updating the list as changes become known, but please note that information may not be the most current.