New System Will Keep Both Japan’s Central, Local Governments Informed on Progress in Vaccinations

Administrative reform minister Taro Kono, who also oversees vaccinations against COVID-19, announced Monday that the central and local governments will introduce a system to keep track of inoculations.

The system is aimed at promoting efficient vaccinations by keeping both the national and local governments informed of the situation.

Under the new system, municipalities will register in advance information such as people’s My Number — identification numbers assigned to all citizens — and the number on coupons issued to people who are eligible for vaccination. Medical institutions that serve as vaccination sites will enter information on the coupons and vaccines into the system.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be administered in two doses within three weeks. The new management system will make it easier for people who change their residence after their first inoculation, or who do not show up for the second inoculation, to be urged to get the shot.

The government envisages inoculating people aged 65 or older after healthcare workers, who will start getting their shots as early as in late February. Kono said the system would be up and running by the time elderly people are inoculated, and would be used to issue vaccination certificates.

“We will work toward launching the system while maintaining good communication with local governments,” Kono said.