Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

COVID-19 vax coupon without Braille sent to blind man in Fukushima Pref.

Masamitsu Kikuchi, with an inoculation ticket, left, and an envelope in front of him, said, "I know it came from the city's health promotion division, but I didn't know what the notice was about," in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, on May 19, 2021. (Mainichi/Kengo Miura)

AIZUWAKAMATSU, Fukushima -- While the vaccination program for elderly people aged 65 and over has started in this eastern Japan city, a blind man living alone here received an envelope containing a vaccination ticket without Braille markings, and it was revealed that he was unable to check the contents for two weeks.

    The Aizuwakamatsu Municipal Government apologized to Masamitsu Kikuchi, 66, an acupuncture and moxibustion practitioner and a finger-pressure massage therapist, and he has since made an appointment for the vaccination with the assistance of a helper.

    An envelope containing a vaccination coupon arrived at Kikuchi's home in late April, before the nation's "Golden Week" holidays. There was Braille to identify the sender, but the documents inside were not marked with Braille. After the holidays that ended in early May, Kikuchi asked his helper to read the documents and noticed that the vaccination coupons had arrived.

    According to the city government, there are 10 blind seniors aged 65 or over who live alone in the city. Kikuchi said, "It's impossible for blind people to complete appointments by themselves. If there were only 10 blind people living alone, they should have called us." He added, "For blind people, touching is seeing, so it's hard not to have Braille."

    (Japanese original by Kengo Miura, Aizuwakamatsu Local Bureau)

    Also in The Mainichi

    The Mainichi on social media