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The health ministry has released a draft COVID-19 vaccination form and letters of notice translated into 12 languages on its website for foreign residents who have difficulty understanding Japanese.

The ministry released basic information on the vaccination, including who can be inoculated, the possible side effects and how a person can get the shot. The vaccination consent form lists health conditions people should watch out for before receiving the shot.

The document has so far been translated into 12 languages ー English, Arabic, French, Indonesian, Korean, Myanmar, Nepalese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Thai ー to help foreign nationals fill out the original form.

The Japanese documents will be sent by mail beforehand to registered residences to make sure people understand about COVID-19 vaccines. When it is a person’s turn to be vaccinated, he or she needs to make a reservation online or by phone at a clinic or vaccination venue in their municipality.

All people eligible to receive shots will be required to submit the screening questionnaire with their medical history and information on whether the applicant falls into one of the target groups with a higher priority for inoculation.

Those who cannot understand Japanese can compare it with the translated version, filling out the Japanese consent form and posting it to the vaccination venue, rather than filling out the foreign language form available on the website. Doctors and nurses checking the form at the venue may not understand any language other than Japanese.

Resident foreign nationals have the same conditions for vaccinations as Japanese citizens.

The government has signed contracts with Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca PLC for a total of 314 million doses. The vaccines, which are intended for people age 16 and older, will be available for free.

Vaccinations for people age 65 and older will start from mid-April, while vaccinations for the general public are expected to start from around the summer.

The ministry has said it will release the documents in four more languages: Khmer, Mongolian, Vietnamese and both simplified and traditional Chinese.

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