Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Official Announcement, Beginning Mid-February
At 100 medical institutions across Japan, approximately ten thousand health care providers are to receive inoculations for the COVID-19 vaccine; the Fukui Katsuyama General Hospital (Katsuyama City) is to be among the 100 medical institutions. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare made an official announcement on January 20th. Health care providers are expected to begin receiving the vaccine during mid-February, after which, their state of health will be monitored for one month.
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare had approached three institutions, the National Hospital Organization, the Japan Healthcare Community Organization (JHCO), and the Japan Organization of Occupational Health and Safety’s independent administrative agency. The first round of vaccinations will be carried out at 52 institutions under the National Hospital Organization, 27 institutions under the JCHO, and 21 institutions under the Japan Organization of Occupational Health and Safety.
There are a total of 4 medical institutions affiliated with one of the three institutions within Fukui Prefecture; a Fukui Katsuyama General Hospital associated explained, “We have decided to participate based on the request by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.” The Japan government will be deciding the amount of vaccines to be distributed for the initial rounds of vaccination, as well as the provision of freezers capable of storing the vaccines at extremely low temperatures.
Within the country, the vaccine created by the major pharmaceutical company Pfizer is currently under examination for its safety and effectiveness. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is on course to hold an expert panel as soon as February 15th, on whether to grant special approval for the vaccine. With the vaccine already making its rounds in foreign countries, an approval is likely.
After the initial rounds of vaccination, it is expected for health care providers across each prefectures will receive the vaccine from mid-March, followed by those 65 and older from late-March, followed by those with pre-existing conditions and then the general public. Fukui Prefecture is proceeding in line with the Japan government’s vaccine plan.