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Key Facts


​Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare

National Institute of Infectious Diseases

Vaccination Q&A

​Q1 What is vaccination?


Vaccination is the administration of antigenic material(a vaccine) to stimulate an individual's immune system to develop adaptive immunity to a pathogen.

​Q2 Where is the administration of vaccine?


 Vaccinations are managed by public health departments and health centers.



Role of public health departments in vaccinations:

  ・Submitting requests to medical institutions implementing vaccinations

  ・Sending out various vaccination notices and medical interview sheets


Role of health centers in vaccinations:

  ・Re-issuing vaccination medical interview sheets

  ・Receiving consultations and inquiries regarding vaccinations

Q3     Is the vaccination obligatory?


 Vaccinations include “routine vaccinations,” which are strongly promoted by the Japanese government and municipalities, and “voluntary vaccinations,” which are left to the discretion of the individual.


Routine vaccinations: Vaccinations required by the Preventive Vaccination Act to be implemented under the responsibility of local municipalities at a set age. Emphasis is placed on mass vaccination. These are mandatory.

Voluntary vaccinations: Vaccinations not required by the Preventive Vaccination Act that are left to the discretion of the individual and their guardians to decide on whether vaccination is performed. Emphasis is placed on personal disease prevention. These are not mandatory.

Q4   What is the process up to performance of vaccination?


Local public health department mails vaccination medical interview sheet to individuals. Then each individual makes an appointment with a family physician and receives scheduled vaccination. 

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