Japan's health ministry on Thursday began a multilingual service at its call center for those who want to inquire about the effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine and its possible side effects.

The system supports calls in English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese. The call center was initially launched in mid-February but had only been available in Japanese, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The call center can be reached toll free at 0120-761770.

On Wednesday, the ministry set up a Japanese-only website providing information about the country's vaccination program and approved vaccine safety.

Japan has only approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine so far, with those by Moderna and AstraZeneca still going through the ministry's safety review.