Photo/Illutration An envelope containing a COVID-19 vaccination voucher (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The health ministry has instructed municipalities to start mailing COVID-19 vaccination vouchers to people aged under 65 from mid-June.

The ministry recommends that the vouchers be sent to residents in order of age or by area, instead of mailing them all at once, to avoid causing confusion when they make reservations to receive shots.

Health care workers top the government’s vaccine priority list, followed by senior citizens aged 65 or older. People with underlying conditions, workers at facilities for elderly people and citizens aged between 60 and 64 are in the third priority group.

People not in any of those categories will be vaccinated only after those in the priority groups receive jabs, in principle.

But the ministry will allow municipalities to start inoculating residents with pre-existing conditions even before they finish vaccinating senior citizens.

The ministry does not require people with underlying conditions to present medical certificates at an inoculation site to prove their eligibility. They only need to write their diseases on medical questionnaires they fill in before receiving a shot.

Workers at facilities for elderly people are required to present certificates issued by the facilities, while staff at a vaccination site will check the eligibility of people in the 60-to-64 age group by referring to the date of birth entered on medical questionnaires.