For Under 60 Years Old, Vaccination Coupons to Distribute from End of July
On June 15th, Fukui Prefecture’s Fukui City disclosed plans to begin distributing COVID-19 vaccination coupons from the end of July, to those 59 years old and younger, and with no underlying conditions. With distribution looking to be carried out in stages, further details will be considered based on factors including how well the supply of vaccines can be maintained.
In a Fukui City general interpellation diet held on the same day, the director responded to an inquiry posed by Keiichi Sugo of the Komeito party.
Regarding the distribution period, the director stated, “For those 65 and older, we distributed coupons to roughly 20,000 people at a time, progressing through each age group every other week. We are looking to use this method as a basis for distribution.”
Within Fukui City, following vaccinations for the elderly, priority will be given to those aged 60 to 64, aged 12 to 59 with underlying conditions, and those working at nursing home facilities. The deadline to respond to the questionnaire regarding underlying conditions is June 21st.
Fukui Prefecture, Practical Training Before Vaccination of General Public
From the week of April 12th, COVID-19 vaccinations will commence for the general public, starting with the elderly. Leading up to that week, Fukui Prefecture hosted a practical training workshop for registered and practical nurses within the Reihoku region, held at the Fukui Nursing Association assembly hall on March 21st, in cooperation with the Fukui Medical Association and the Fukui Nursing Association. The workshop went over important points regarding vaccinations, such as the uncommonly used method of intramuscular injection, and potential side effects to look out for post-inoculation.
Vaccinations are currently being administered among health care providers within Fukui Prefecture. From the week of April 12th, across all 17 municipalities within the prefecture, vaccinations will begin for those residing within elderly care facilities and its staff. Practical training workshops will be held within the Reihoku and Reinan areas. Workshops were held three times through the morning and afternoon in the Reihoku venue, with approximately 500 participants from roughly 270 medical institutions, who will be involved in administering the COVID-19 vaccinations.
The participants were divided into groups, and learned through various videos, such as on the process of defrosting the vaccine and diluting it with saline, and information on side effects. Following the videos were some hands-on training exercises, including to practice careful handling of the vaccine, as to not produce bubbles when it is being diluted. The participants were also given advice with the aid of a model arm, to “keep the syringe vertical, and not to massage the arm after inoculation”, during the intramuscular injection training session.
A female head nurse (aged 47) employed within Fukui City commented, “There is also normally much anxiety when it comes to hypodermic injections, so it was good to learn about the important points regarding intramuscular injection.”
The Reinan region practical training workshop will be held on March 28th, at the Tsuruga City General Welfare Center, with approximately 160 participants expected to attend.
COVID-19, From the Week of April 12th
On March 18th, Fukui Prefecture announced that COVID-19 vaccinations for the residents and staff of elderly care facilities will begin simultaneously from the week of April 12th, across all 17 municipalities. As the first groups to receive vaccinations, approximately 4,500 people will be vaccinated across a total of 34 facilities within the prefecture, with one to three facilities in each municipality.
Fukui Katsuyama General Hospital, For Health Care Providers
On February 16th, Fukui Prefecture disclosed plans that the initial rounds of COVID-19 vaccinations within the prefecture will begin from the 19th, to take place at the Fukui Katsuyama General Hospital (in Katsuyama City) for health care providers. Prefectural Governor Tatsuji Sugimoto laid out the plans and proposals at a regular prefectural assembly held on the 16th.
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.