Ultimately, it is your choice to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and booster. The intention of the information on this page is to provide any available and relevant information for those who are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccines while in Japan.
DISCLAIMER: All of the information on this page is subject to sudden change.
Last updated on 16 February 2022.
Things You Will Need
- A form of ID (Japanese driver’s license, health insurance card, etc.)
- Vaccination “coupon,” or voucher (mailed to you from your municipality)
- Pre-examination form (included in the mail with the vaccination voucher)
- Anything else your municipality may specifically require
First & Second Inoculations
Each company has its own name for its COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccine voucher or participating vaccination locations may list the vaccine names rather than the company name:
- Pfizer-BioNTech – Comirnaty
- Moderrna – COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna Intramuscular Injection (Spikevax Intramuscular Injection, or just Spikevax, from Jan. 31, 2022)
- AstraZeneca – Vaxzevria
If you have yet to be vaccinated and would like to do so, then please check the following information:
If you do not have the vaccine vouchers –
- Contact your respective municipality’s COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center and ask them how to receive vaccine vouchers for your first and second dose of vaccine. Some municipalities have more information and applications on their website, but calling would probably be the fastest approach.
If you have the vaccine vouchers –
- Check your respective municipality’s website for a list of locations participating in COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Choose a location with vaccine and time availabilities most convenient to you and then make a reservation with them. (NOTE: Some municipalities have online registration available on their website.)
- Wait the requested time between your first and second dose (Pfizer = 3 weeks, Moderna = 4 weeks, AstraZeneca = 4 – 12 weeks)
CAUTION: You may experience some side-effects after receiving the vaccine. If you have a fever or cold-like symptoms following the vaccination, please do not go to work and, at your earliest availability, report to your supervisor and schools about your condition.
For more information, you can visit Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website on COVID-19 vaccines here (English).
If you are interested in obtaining your COVID-19 vaccination certification, please check what you will need for the application and what the certificate may be used for here. Currently, both paper and digital versions are available.
Kumamoto Prefecture has announced that the COVID-19 vaccine booster registration is becoming available for those who are eligible. In order to make sure the locations participating in COVID-19 vaccinations are not overwhelmed all at once, each municipality’s plans to send out the vouchers according to when the resident received their second dose. The schedule which the municipality plans to send the vouchers, the day the reservation opens, and the days which those who have the vouchers and have made a reservation can go get their vaccination can be found on the respective municipality’s website.* The following information will vary from municipality to municipality.
- If you received your vaccination in the municipality that you currently reside now, then you will eventually automatically receive a vaccination voucher that allows you to receive the booster shot. However, if you have moved to a new municipality or are new altogether, then you will need to register your vaccination record with your municipality. It is recommended to have your supervisor or a trusted JTE call the municipality beforehand to see whether vaccination records from overseas are accepted or will need a translation done.
- Currently, booster shots in Japan are available to those who has received at least their second dose:
- Only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being distributed as booster shots at the moment.
- People who received the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine and have received their first and second vaccination at least 6 months (previously 8 months) prior to registration may be eligible to register (mostly by phone, but online options may also be available) for the booster shot at a participating location in their registered municipality.
In order to receive the booster shot, you must have your voucher from your residing municipality. If you believe you qualify for the booster shot, but you do not have the voucher yet, then please check your respective municipality’s website and check their voucher distribution schedule or contact your respective municipality’s COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center to see how to obtain the voucher.
*Booster Shot Vaccine Voucher Distribution Schedule (some unavailable) –
- Kumamoto City
- Yatsushiro City
- Hitoyoshi City
- Arao City
- Minamata City
- Tamana City
- Amakusa City
- Yamaga City
- Kikuchi City
- Uto City
- Kamiamakusa City
- Uki City
- Aso City
- Koshi City
- Misato Town
- Gyokuto Town
- Nagomi Town
- Nankan Town
- Nagasu Town
- Ozu Town
- Kikuyo Town
- Minamioguni Town
- Oguni Town
- Ubuyama Village
- Takamori Town
- Minamiaso Village
- Nishihara Village
- Mifune Town
- Kashima Town
- Mashiki Town
- Kosa Town
- Yamato Town
- Hikawa Town
- Ashikita Town
- Tsunagi Town
- Nishiki Town
- Asagiri Town
- Taragi Town
- Yunomae Town
- Mizukami Village
- Sagara Village
- Itsuki Village
- Yamae Village
- Kuma Village
- Reihoku Town
For more information, you can visit Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website on booster shots here (English).
Starting from Feb. 7, people who wish to receive the Moderna booster shot and have received at least their first and second vaccination (regardless of Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca) at least 6 months prior to registration are eligible to register to receive the vaccine booster at Gran Messe in Kumamoto City. Those eligible to register will begin receiving their booster shot starting from Feb. 14 (more information in Japanese, including how to make a reservation here).
Only the Moderna booster shot will be available at Gran Messe Kumamoto. You must make a reservation for your first and second COVID-19 vaccinations elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How will my municipality know when to send me my voucher?
Your municipality has a record of your COVID-19 vaccination record and know when you received your second vaccination. They will calculate when to send you the voucher automatically according to their distribution schedule.
If you moved to Japan recently and did not get vaccinated in Japan, you will need to register your vaccination record with your municipality. Translation may be required if the vaccine you received are not Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca so please call ahead and confirm what your municipality expects from you.
- Where can I make a reservation once I get my voucher?
On each municipality’s website, usually along with the voucher distribution schedule, a PDF file with information on locations participating in COVID-19 vaccinations can be found. There should be information available on which vaccines the locations carry, when they are open, and how to make a reservation. Besides Gran Messe Kumamoto and other special circumstances, you must receive your vaccination in your respective municipality.
- What if I want to get vaccinated in a municipality different from the one I currently reside in?
Although it isn’t impossible to get vaccinated in a different municipality, you will have to complete a paper (or online if available) registration to get permission to be vaccinated in that municipality. Moreover, you will have to wait until your application is processed and then your vaccination voucher is delivered to you via mail.
NOTE: There are special exceptions to this situation such as the prefectural-wide inoculation centers (ie. Gran Messe Kumamoto).
- What if I had received a vaccine not yet approved/distributed in Japan (ie. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) but want to get a booster shot?
Although those vaccines currently will not be available in Japan, you are permitted to mix which vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca) you’d like to receive. However, before you can receive your next vaccine, you will need to confirm the risks of mixing vaccines and the uncertainties that may occur and give your consent that you have confirmed and understood the before mentioned.
- What if I have only gotten one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so far?
Whether your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine is Johnson & Johnson or one of the approved vaccines in Japan, you will first need to request a vaccination voucher for your second dose (preferably when you register your vaccination record) and then make a reservation at a participating location administering first and second inoculations of the COVID-19 vaccines. After receiving your second dose and waiting the appropriate time following the second dose, you will be able to receive the third dose, too.