[via the USEMB-Tokyo November 2009 ACS Newsletter]
“H1N1 vaccinations of medical professionals have begun in Japan, with other high priority risk groups to be vaccinated later (pregnant women, young children, parents of infants, elderly, etc.). Foreign residents are eligible to receive vaccine through the Japanese health system as long as they fall into the designated priority groups. Those who wish to be inoculated should contact their local municipal public health offices to inquire about vaccination schedules and locations. Specific vaccination dates and locations may not yet be available in all prefectures or municipalities.
For regional information in English, contact the call centers for foreigners set up by prefectures during business hours. Tokyo residents can call Metropolitan Medical Institution Information at (03) 5285-8181. Elsewhere in the Kanto region, contact (045) 314-9917 in Kanagawa, (043) 297-2966 in Chiba and (048) 833-3296 in Saitama. Kyoto residents should call (075) 342-0088, and Osaka residents (06) 6773-6533. For advice in Fukuoka, contact (092) 725-9200.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is planning to start up a phone line for vaccine-related information in English by the end of this month. For online information on the vaccine, visit the health ministry’s Web site at http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/topics/influenza_a/index.html. The health ministry’s call center for consultation about H1N1 in Japanese is (03) 3501-9031.
Vaccination information for Tokyo area residents only: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has announced that inoculations will start on November 9 for the following priority groups. The only vaccine available from November 9 – 16 contains a preserving agent called Thimerosal:
- pregnant women
- children aged 1-9 years old with underlying diseases
- people hospitalized with severe symptoms of underlying diseases which put them at risk if flu is contracted.
- After November 16, vaccines without a preserving agent will be available for:
- pregnant women
- people with underlying diseases
- all preschool-age children over one year of age
The schedule of vaccinations for people in other priority groups will be announced at a later date. Other priority groups include:
- parents of infants younger than one year old
- family members of people in a priority group who can’t themselves receive vaccinations because of allergy
- children from 10 – 18 years old
- people over 65 years old
People in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government area who are in a priority group and who are interested in being vaccinated should contact their primary care physician to make a vaccination appointment. If you don’t have a primary care physician, check with city government or ward office health officials about designated hospitals which will be administering vaccinations.
For details in Japanese see the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Press Release dated October 28, 2009 at http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/INET/OSHIRASE/2009/10/20jas800.htm.
Everyone is encouraged to review their flu preparedness planning. Visit www.flu.gov to make sure you are ready, learn how you can help promote public awareness, and learn what steps you can take to prepare and do your part to mitigate the effects of H1N1.
The State Department also has updated information available at: http://travel.state.gov”
POCs for the US Embassy or US Consulate:
U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
American Citizen Services
1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
The U.S. Embassy serves Americans in Tokyo, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Yamagata and Yamanashi.
• Osaka-Kobe: 11-5, Nishitenma 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8543; Tel: 06-6315-5912, Fax: 06-6315-5914; serving Americans in Osaka, Aichi, Ehime, Fukui, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Kochi, Kyoto, Mie, Nara, Okayama, Shimane, Shiga, Tokushima, Tottori, Toyama, and Wakayama prefectures. http://osaka.usconsulate.gov/
• Nagoya: Nagoya International Center Bldg. 6th floor, 1-47-1 Nagono, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-0001; Tel 052-581-4501, Fax: 052-581-3190; providing emergency consular services only (including death and arrest cases) for Americans living in Aichi, Gifu, and Mie prefectures. http://nagoya.usconsulate.gov/
• Fukuoka: 5-26, Ohori 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0052; Tel: 092-751-9331, Fax: 092-713-9222; serving Americans in Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga and Yamaguchi prefectures. http://japan.usembassy.gov/fukuoka/wwwhmain.html
• Sapporo: Kita 1-jo, Nishi 28-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 064-0821; Tel: 011-641-1115, Fax: 011-643-1283; serving Americans in Akita, Aomori, Hokkaido, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. http://sapporo.usconsulate.gov/
• Naha: 2-1-1 Toyama, Urasoe City, Okinawa 901-2104; Phone: 098-876-4211, Fax: 098-876-4243, DSN: 645-7323; serving Americans in Okinawa and the Amami Oshima Island group. http://naha.usconsulate.gov/