My wife and I got the H1N1 vaccine today in Tokyo. We tried to go through our Japanese doctor using our national health insurance but due to the short supply and since there are other people who have been visiting our doctor longer than we have – we were told that they had priority over us and we’d probably not be able to get it for a few months *scratch head*
Frustrated with the Japanese medical system I decided to contact Dr. Shane (picture left) at the American Clinic in Azubu. He’s an American doctor who’s been practicing in Japan for over 50 years. He’s a very nice man and his service is excellent. The downside is he doesn’t take national health insurance so I have to pay cash. Bringing the family there can get costly but you gotta do what you gotta do. Just another reason why my wife and I are most likely going to raise our family in Canada. Plus… I like watching hockey and I’m a snowboarding machine.
I’m normally not cool with getting flu shot vaccinations but since we have a 6 month old baby we have to be extra careful about our health. The vaccination available in Japan is manufactured by a Japanese company and is different from the vaccinations in other countries. Dr. Shane is not giving the H1N1 vaccination to children 1-year old and younger because the manufacturer said it might not be safe. So if you have a child under 1-year old there’s no chance of getting the vaccination in Japan. I know USA and Canada are giving the vaccination from 6 months old. I wonder what’s different between Japan’s vaccination and USA & Canada’s?
So Dr. Shane gave us the shot – we were in and out in 20 minutes. Cost was 3,600 JPY each. My arm is a bit sore but nothing worse than any other shot. We’re supposed to get another dose within the next month. Today’s shot was #1 of 2 total H1N1 shots.