Dr. Yoko Ibuka
Department of Economics, Medical Economics
Dear Professor Ibuka,
I am writing this letter to explain my motivation in attending Keio University and study Medical Economics. I would be extremely grateful if you could give this a read.
Abstract – As more and more people start to travel abroad with inexpensive options emerging, many Japanese are left vulnerable to diseases. I personally encountered a situation where I had no idea what diseases I was vaccinated growing up and I had no choice but to receive vaccination on the spot pr give up to enter a country. It brings the question whether Japan’s medical offering effective or not and what can we do in order to increase awareness that we are vulnerable?
Question – What diseases are we obligated to be vaccinated as we remember doctors visiting schools and giving shots? Does the medical policy differ from that in European countries where medical services are free?
Methodology – Investigate a history of vaccinations given in Japan and compare policies around it to how it is in US and European countries.
Findings – Coverage of 6 diseases (BCG, polio, DPT, measles, mumps and varicella) is above 70% due to vaccinations conducted in schools. However, given the low frequency for most diseases in the country, after 1994, Japan moved away from mandated vaccination. It was made voluntary choice in local doctors office by parents, unless the parents is positive and infected of something specific, which is the case in most European countries for example Hepatitis B. Recently in 2018, France made a number of changes to the existing policy, it increased the number of compulsory vaccines from three to eleven for children under the age of 2, to stay free of many diseases like polio and also avoid others but give choice to parents and educate them on entailing side effects or downsides.
Conclusion – Most progressive system around immunization seems to be the partially mandated immunization control. As your seminar partners with many companies to conduct many polls and studies, it would be very exciting for me to research more on the trust on immunization system in different countries and better the system we have in Japan including self care. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
*Yoko Ibuka, Shun-ichiro Bessho, “Out-of-pocket Payments and Community-wide Health Outcomes: An Examination of Influenza Vaccination Subsidies in Japan.” Health Economics, Policy and Law, 2016; 11: 275-302. *Daniel Jonas, Yoko Ibuka, Louise B. Russell, “How Much Time Do Adults Spend on Health-related Self-care? Results from the American Time Use Survey.” Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 2011; 24(4): 380-390.*Mandatory and recommended vaccination in the EU, Iceland and Norway: results of the VENICE 2010 survey on the ways of implementing national vaccination programmes, Haverkate, M.,Robert Koch Institution