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COVID-19 Coronavirus: situation in Japan

Will COVID tests and treatment still be free after Japan downgrades the disease on 8 May?

So as not to suddenly impose a financial burden on patients, the Japanese government will gradually reduce support from the public purse. For outpatients, subsidies for medications, including oral and intravenous drugs, will continue until September. However, all other costs will return to those for regular medical care.

Japan's public health insurance system generally covers 70% or 90% of a person's medical bills, depending on age, income and other factors. Under the recategorization of COVID-19, the maximum out-of-pocket expense for diagnosis and outpatient treatment for those at the 90% level will be 1,390 JPY (about USD 10) and 4,170 JPY (USD 31) for those in the 70% group -- about the same as for the flu. If patients also had to cover medications, those figures would jump to 10,820 JPY (about USD 80) and 32,470 JPY (USD 240) without government subsidies. The government will also continue its subsidy programs for medications during a COVID-19 patient's stay at a hospital until the end of September. However, non-drug costs such as hospital care and meals can add up. For example, if a patient paying 10% of their medical bills were hospitalized with a moderately severe case of the disease for ten days, they would face a bill of 37,600 JPY.

This week, we received our fifth (free) "vaccination ticket," but we are unsure whether to get the shot.
Will COVID tests and treatment still be free after Japan downgrades the disease on 8 May?

This week, we received our fifth (free) "vaccination ticket," but we are unsure whether to get the shot.
Are they still using Pfizer? I'd get it. I also get the flu shot annually.
At 73 and about 5 shots of Moderna so far , no issues at all.
Wife said she heard her mother was going to be getting another shot--in her 90s and in a retirement/施設 place. So being over 70* I assume I'll be getting a notice soon for my next shot (and I think that varies some depending on your prefecture/city, and how fast they are).

Which I will of course get.

*also 障害者, not sure if that moves the date any sooner than just age
They are every year because the predominant strains change every year. Nothing is free in the U.S. but very cheap.
My corporate insurance is not free but with that all such preventative vaccines are free. I also get the flu shot every year for the whole family. I thought US insurance these days had to cover such vaccines (keeping in mind not everyone has insurance). I am not sure my insurance covers travel vaccines, in the old days when I travelled more and had to pay $35 for a flu shot they did not so I had to pay for extra shots I got. The tests will no longer be free for covid in the US.

I had 5 covid shots no problems at all from them.
Speaking of the jabs, anyone had any side effects yet?

3x boosted (Pfizer) and no side effects. The first day after the vaccinations I felt feverish and generally a bit under the weather, but it went away within 24 hours.

I've never gotten the flu vaccine. I might start doing it as I get older. In Japan, I've never heard of people getting flu vaccines, but in the States its so common they'll do it at the local supermarket pharmacy.
They have flu vaccines in Japan, they are not free in Japan last we did it. For some reason I think there is less push. My father developed pnseumonia and was hospitalized at least twice resulting from influenza in just the past 4 years so I am especially vigilant these days. I am always so busy I don't have time to be miserable with the flu for several days so even before I usually got the shot. That started for me as I caught the flu and had fever and chills and was yucky but I still had deliverables so I still needed to work my butt off, after that I got the jab so my chances of that were reduced.
Flu shots were a regular thing at the small uni where I worked. Yearly, early november, and you did have to sort of sign up a week or two in advance. Lines of students, faculty, and office staff got shots, and two campuses so two different days for each (if you missed one you could then get to the other campus/time). It was a slightly reduced fee, maybe ¥1500 IIRC. I think I always got one, can't remember not doing so, and I've kept on with them after retiring.

I've also gotten the pneumovax shot.

Appointment for my next covid shot is monday, the 15th. This might be #6(?)--I've gotten every one offered. Never any side effects, no day-long fever or aches. Nothing. Zip.

I'm sorry to say that I haven't gotten the shingles vaccine, but should. I'll ask my doc about it monday.
More news about something that didn't happen.

Japan is seeing no resurgence of COVID-19 cases one month after the country relaxed restrictions and downgraded the disease to a lower-risk category under law. […] The average number of COVID-19 cases stood at 3.63 per hospital in the week through Sunday, up from 3.55 in the preceding week and 2.63 in the week before last, according to the ministry. The number of cases has been "rising moderately since April," a ministry official said.

A survey conducted by Hitotsubashi University one month after COVID-19 was downgraded revealed that 46% of respondents said they wore masks even in uncongested areas in the first week of June. The percentage of people opting to wear masks was down 4% compared to before the reclassification and down 20% compared to 13 March, when mask-wearing guidelines were eased.

The number of COVID-19 cases has been on the rise since the disease was downgraded under the Infectious Diseases Law to Category V — the same as influenza. About 5,000 medical institutions nationwide reported an average of 3.63 cases on May 22-28, up from 2.63 on May 8-14, immediately after the reclassification, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. Although the latest figure is far below the peak of about 30 logged during the eighth wave of infections in December last year, a simple comparison of the data is not possible as a different method was used to calculate the December figure. The occupancy of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients stood at 12% as of the end of May, and the figure for severe cases was as low as 4%.

I have stopped wearing masks (except for cramped rooms at work) and feel like a rebel. :LOL:
Been pretty quiet in Maine and then tonight's news says a local nursing home has been overwhelmed with cases. I have a feeling this fall's flu shots will also cover covid in a single dose shot.
The word is that a new Coronavirus wave might be lurking around the corner: just one month after downgrading COVID-19 to a status on par with that of seasonal flu, the number of new infections has doubled.

The number of new patients reported in the week from 5 June through Sunday by around 5,000 designated hospitals and clinics across the country was 25,163, or an average of 5.11 patients per facility, the ministry said in its weekly report. That's up from 4.55 in the previous week, and from 2.63 between 8 and 14 May. By region, the spike in cases stands out in Okinawa Prefecture, where the average number of new patients per facility surged to 18.41 in the week through Sunday, up from 6.07 four weeks before.

The infection status is now indicated by the number of patients per medical facility by prefecture. In the lead: Okinawa with 18.41, followed by Kagoshima (7.37) and Ishikawa (6.58).

We are still debating whether to get that (free) fifth shot or not.
They are every year because the predominant strains change every year. Nothing is free in the U.S. but very cheap.

Yeah, if you choose to ignore the charges called taxes, which is very popular to do while everyone pretends America is a capitalist society....or Japan.

I never got any Covid jabs here in Japan, but I am perfectly aware I paid for them. I paid for a whole lot of services I never used, never wanted, and never asked for in fact.

Free shots they said! Uh.....no. Cheap shots at least? Record pharmaceutical profits were not based on "gifts"....well, not that kind of gift anyway. They were not based on discounts either.

Now I will tell you why I took Covid relief money from the government. Its because I knew I was just getting my own back, money that should not have been taken from me in the first place. It wasn't assistance. It was a tax break....a long overdue tax break....of minimal size. Failure to take it while everyone else did would be like failing to kick while treading water and then being surprised to find water up your nose.

Let me be clear. I don't have a problem with capitalism or taxes. But I do I have problems with greed and taxes funding already rich capitialists. I also have a problem with pretending greed and socialism for the rich isn't happening. My feelings about Covid, the official policies in response to Covid and the Covid vaccinations are after those, because they STEM from them.
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The number of coronavirus infections has been increasing across Japan, with the situation being especially dire in Okinawa. Healthcare experts say the medical system could collapse as early as next week.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced on June 23 that the number of new COVID-19 cases reported from about 5,000 medical institutions nationwide for fixed-point observations between June 12 and 18 stood at 5.60 per institution. This is 1.10 times the number said the previous week, and case numbers have been on an upward trend. The infection situation in Okinawa Prefecture is dire, forcing restrictions on emergency medical services. The number of patients in Okinawa Prefecture from June 12 to 18 was 28.74 per medical institution, a 4.73-fold rapid increase in just over a month since immediately after the status of COVID-19 was downgraded to "category 5," or the same level as seasonal influenza, under Japan's infectious disease control law. According to the prefectural government, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients has exceeded 500, already surpassing the eighth wave of infections in January of this year.

Healthcare experts say the medical system could collapse as early as next week.

I have heard this a lot for both here and other countries. But I don't know what they define as a collapse.

Has Japan had a " collapse of the medical system" as a result of Covid before?
Per the article
TOKYO -- The number of coronavirus infections has been on the rise across Japan again, and the situation is especially serious in Okinawa Prefecture, with one health care expert saying, "The medical system could collapse as early as next week, where people who need to be hospitalized cannot be admitted."
Per the article
Or rather, per one "expert" who was not named, or at least not named directly. It says ".....with one health care expert saying, "The medical system could collapse as early as next week, where people who need to be hospitalized cannot be admitted.""

That seems like quite an alarmist and sensationalist use of a term like "collapse". No one would say that all hotels being booked constituted a "collapse of the hopitality industry". But they would if all hotels or most hotels went out of business.

I could even go for "a dangerous over-run on the medical system" or even "a potentially catastrophic failure of the medical system to handle the patient load"....but "collapse of the medical system" sounds like gross over-reach to me.....the sort of thing that backfires and leads to the public ignoring the press and the government in the long run....a place I think we arrived at long ago.
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