A signboard for the coronavirus vaccination campaign is seen at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Tokyo. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool via AP/File
national

Is Japan's quickening vaccine drive in time for Olympics?

63 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


63 Comments
Login to comment

Statistics here in the States are that those who have died from Covid-19 in the last 6 months are about 99% among the unvaccinated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

About 15% are fully vaccinated in Japan. Things are looking up, but the numbers are still not good enough to allow full bleachers for the games.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You need at least half the population for herd immunity. Plus to be fully vaccinated you need 2 shots. So even if there is a 1million jabs a day, you still need at least 3-4months to bring Japan back on it's feet.

But i don't think is that a big deal for the olympics, because is not like a lot of the people will particate in these events anyway. As long they make sure those that were involve receive a dose, the risk should not be that high. I am gonna watch it at home with my family anyway. Just my opinion, but i am not that worried. Is not like the whole population is going to the olympics anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You’re too late! Osoi!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No.

Get everyone vaccinated today. Dose 1.

Wait 3 weeks for Pfizer (4 weeks for Moderna), get dose 2.

Wait 2 weeks, fully vaccinated.

That's at least 5 or 6 weeks until fully vaccinated.

The Olympics start in just under 4 weeks.

So the answer is clearly NO.

Now, if people are willing to go with a less-than 65% effective, 1-shot, vaccination, then technically, it could be done. The vast majority of Japanese will not be going to any Olympic events nor will they be anywhere near any Olympic teams, so it doesn't make sense for them to get the least effective shots.

It only makes sense for people who are in high risk groups to get the 1-shot vaccines, but a plan to come back in 2-3 months and get the more effective vaccines should be planned. The US has statistics that people dying from COVID are almost always those who didn't get vaccinated. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/06/24/covid-vaccine-delta-variant-california-fda-cdc-missouri-hotspot/5329714001/

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How can they say they are doing 1M a day if they stopped taking any bookings? :)

They are not doing 1M a day, they weren't before and they cannot be doing it now that they have stopped the flow. I personally do not believe it for a minute. I don't believe most of the things Japanese officials say.

Can someone also explain to us the need for the paper voucher? It's such a waste of time and money

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The majority of people getting Covid now are in their 20 to 40s. It's really a non-issue in Japan. Nonetheless, with vaccinations moving along at a million per day this should be enough to quell the paranoia within a month. The first dose is enough to put you well over the 70% plus immune category which will achieve herd immunity. Honestly, far fewer people are dying of Covid today than any other year from the common flu. Every country I've seen has dealt with their fear cycle when it comes to Covid. The USA has recovered as has Europe but for some odd reason the Asian countries have not. Good luck Japan, but really, you don't have any problem.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I’m optimistic, 8.2% of my information postcard is already fully printed. lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Vaccination policy by Present Japan's Suga government who value poll than defending the lives of people has no interest except increasing number.

Besides, even medical support to side effect is slow and insufficient.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Is Japan's quickening vaccine drive in time for Olympics?

Of course.

They have to "save face" for their complete incompetence on this entire fiasco.

We all wonder why this current "acceleration" didn't happen back in Jan-Feb of 2021.

Japan LOVES to waste time and procrastinate till the last minute on EVERYTHING.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan is way late to the party.

The party is just getting started and Uganda is the first guess. I got my Moderna shot scheduled in 10 days, I hope that is in time!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Lucky and proud to be the first poster here fully vaccinated.

Japan is way late to the party.

As of Tuesday, about 8.2% of the country was fully vaccinated.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

A developing country and Japan. Even if we vaccinate a million people a day, it will take about half a year. So by the end of 2021. About a year after other countries began vaccinating. Look at most vaccination sites. Always empty. I don't really believe these people are actually vaccinated. Rather, I believe it is just an assumption of those who should have already been vaccinated.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It is NOT true that some are saying here that the Pfizer & Moderna series don’t protect against the Delta variant. According to CDC and every leading US medical authority that I see from my public health sources, yes they do!

The Delta and Kappa variants from India currently are blamed for about 20% of cases now in the US, but the people coming down with these highly-infectious Covid variants are the non-vaccinated. Google it!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They have to do a Duterte.

Arrest, beat, imprison all recalcitrant youth out there.

After all, JT "experts" always preach every foreign virtues as benchmarks of advancement.

Japan should take notice.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

mattfuller—currently in US more than 99% of those being hospitalized and dying of Covid are those who were NOT vaccinated. There have been more than a few cases of people under 40 who were otherwise healthy and bragging “I have an immune system” who died in past 2 months.

When there are vaccines with high efficacy against a disease and very low side effects, it is plain ridiculous to avoid it. Measles outbreaks, which are highly contagious and seriously affect adults, were the last major disease caused by avoidance of that vaccine. I took the Moderna series with NO side effects, which has been far better than the normal flu shots that do give some minor side effects.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

By the end of the month 15,000,000 will be fully vaccinated. 15,000,000 will have had one vaccine.

By the end of july some 30,000,000 will be fully vaccinated and another 15,000,000 will have one vaccine.

This numbers are based on 1,000,000 vaccines a day, which is probably an under estimate.

Of course

If there was better organization another 10,000,000 could be vaccinated by now.

But it is going to take a few months for the hesitant to come around to being vaccinated, that the government cant do a lot about.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why be vaccinated? You have a good immune system!

Because your immune system needs to be exposed to an infective agent before it can build immmunity to that infective agent.

Infinitely better for that exposure to be a vaccine than the actual virus because you don't have a chance of getting the disease because the vaccine is not an actual infective agent whereas you night get sick and die if you get Infected with the actual virus

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I’m just happy to see some real movement with this... finally.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why be vaccinated? You have a good immune system!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

"Quickening"? Really? We haven't even received our vouchers from the city yet. Why taking so bloody long?

Got ours today, our ward decided to send out all under 65 vouchers all on the same day all!

No way to even log into the booking site today!

Neighbour got in no appointment available until September!

That is our ward no idea how other wards are doing things!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Quickening"? Really? We haven't even received our vouchers from the city yet. Why taking so bloody long?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My daughter's company is starting on Monday, it is a new company of sorts but actually a new division of a very big corporations.

The vast majority of employment and contract workers are in there 20s and early 30s.

All signed up to be vaccinated at work.

My daughter said no one felt pressure most said they had no problem with getting vaccinated but that going out of their way through the government's complicated appointment system, having to make time travel etc... Was "Taihen" to much trouble.

None is worried about losing their job if they refused because most have no intention of working their long term not even my daughter. ( It's one of these super high turnover IT related businesses).

So as we have seen in the sudden increase in vaccination, it was never vaccine hesitancy but just poor organisation and way to complicated.

Once things were made simple and easy people seem to have no problem getting the vaccine.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I don't know why JT seems to not want to carry good news. It will be equally or probably more talked about I'm sure, if it's about covid , since many people would be quick to criticize it

Anyway in the other JT today news says infection cases for health care workers and the elderly have fallen significantly thanks to vaccinations. So it shows the vaccines work.

There is concern for the new variant however as the current vaccines may not be very effective against it

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Japanese Gov't LOVES to place the blame on others. First they said there were no vaccines because "other" countries would not give them any. Then they blamed "logistics". Then they blamed the elderly, saying not enough people wanted the shots. Then they said there was a problem with reservation systems. And now they are blaming "young" people for the spread. WAKE UP JAPAN! YOU CHOSE TO HAVE THE OLYMPICS. No one is to blame for what happens in 29 days but yourselves. While the general population suffers, the IOC, JOC, Sponsors, NHK, Dentsu, etc will all be profting being spoon fed Grade A5 Waygu and beers at "Hostess" bars.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan is at 8% vaccinated. At 1 million shots a day, at best they will get to around 16% vaccinated when the Olympics start. Another aspect is the supply of vaccine. Even if Japan wanted to accelerate the per day vaccination number, they don't have enough vaccine to do it.

Japan's vaccination program needed to have got up to this number 1 million per day number (and with the correct supply of vaccine for the population) back in at least early May. This is an classic example of too little, too late. The key question now is how bad will the COVID Spike in Japan will be? It's a matter of luck now.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just how stupid does the government think people are? Anyone with 1st grade arithmetic and a basic understanding of the vaccines knows it's already too late.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

With a population of 125 million, and one million shots per day, wouldn't it take another three and a half months to get everyone vaccinated?

Given that there isn't enough time to get shots into everyone before the Olympics start, it would seem to be very important to maintain social distancing, which means no large crowds at the venues, and lots and lots of testing of the participants.

Good luck, Japan, and I look forward to watching the Olympics on the TV.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Actually the number of 1st doses given has been dropping for the last 2 weeks. Take a look at the graph here... https://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/headline/kansensho/vaccine.html

Now that 2nd dose appointments are piling up it will be harder to get 1st dose appointments... watch my words.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With less than 30 days until the Olympics, and Japan finally reaching 1 million vaccinations per day, there are still more than 30 million adults wanting vaccinations waiting, so there is no way Japan will have everyone vaccinated by the Olympics.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The focus on the Olympics is frankly completely missing the point.

Once the Delta variant starts to spread then a million vaccinated means nothing.

Although much more transmissible, more deaths are not necessarily the outcome.

However, the elderly are at risk and there are many millions of them yet to be vaccinated

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No of course not. Too much time spent finding someone else to blame

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Of course not, too little too late.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To those that connect the Olympics to the COVID outbreaks here, if anything having the Olympics hanging over the government has made them speed up with the vaccine rollout

Don't kid yourselves everything would be quicker if we didn't have this event coming. We'd still be in the meeting and planning phase otherwise.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

> Chico3Today  05:18 pm JST

As long as cards and appointments are prerequisites for getting the vaccine, than no. It takes time to get the cards in the mail and make an appointment for the time you want. Also, as long as appointments are made, but later turn out to be "no shows," then again. No. That wasted "no show" can be used for people willing to take the vaccine.

Exactly this.

Why does Japan insist on creating such slow systems for getting things done? Why not open up more large scale vaccination centers, like the one they are slowly building in Yoyogi park, and just get people in and done.

Use their national insurance number to register who has been. 2021 and we are still using paper tickets!?!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

blahblah222

What vaccination drive???

By the time the vouchers finally arrived, all the appointments at the vaccination centers are already full, and after Monday it will only focus on the 2nd shots.

There are no vaccination spots in the ward, and unless you are in one of the lucky politically connected companies, no workplace vaccinations either.

If any of you say you can get vaccines, I will pay you 150,000 yen if you can get me an appointment or a vaccine. I would even pay 100,000 for the Chinese one.

Vaccination drive is pure propaganda, zero access for the common people.

Agreed - it really is hard to find an available slot - depending on the ward. I've even tried queueing up at one of the mass vaccine centers in the early hours of the day, but it was already full. You'd need to camp there overnight for a jab-chance!

Blahblah222 - where do you live, which city/ward?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Add in continued political and bureaucratic bungling ...

Without this variable, we'd be close to herd immunity by now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

it is rolling out at rocket steam pace!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I call BS on this. I bet this number is just as cooked up as the daily infected numbers are.

You'd have to be a special kind of gullible to believe they're actually inoculating a million a day.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

By the time the vouchers finally arrived, all the appointments at the vaccination centers are already full, 

Obviously that couldn't be everyone's experience. Many others simply were able to get appointments ahead of you. Just keep on trying.

Also, maybe they have procedures for others to take the places of those who weren't able to come to their appointments

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Good point, but with that kind of money get a flight to Guam and get vaccinated this weekend. You will have 2 weeks home quarantine upon return.

Actually I have checked, not to mention the time, it would take at least 300,000 yen including airplane tickets, hotels and other fees, and also most of the hotels are already fully booked this month. I was hoping to apply for the vaccination center, but the voucher never arrived, when it did, can no longer book appointment.

"How we might encourage younger generations to get vaccinated is a big issue"

This is NOT the issue. The issue is that Japanese government NEVER PROVIDED access to vaccines for the younger people, and now they are blaming low vaccination rates on the people again. If you want younger people to get vaccinated, then provide us with vaccination slots, but nope, they won't. I could bet my life that I could not secure an lawful vaccine appointment before next year as my company do not have the political connections to secure employer vaccinations.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If any of you say you can get vaccines, I will pay you 150,000 yen if you can get me an appointment or a vaccine. I would even pay 100,000 for the Chinese one.

Good point, but with that kind of money get a flight to Guam and get vaccinated this weekend. You will have 2 weeks home quarantine upon return.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What vaccination drive???

By the time the vouchers finally arrived, all the appointments at the vaccination centers are already full, and after Monday it will only focus on the 2nd shots.

There are no vaccination spots in the ward, and unless you are in one of the lucky politically connected companies, no workplace vaccinations either.

If any of you say you can get vaccines, I will pay you 150,000 yen if you can get me an appointment or a vaccine. I would even pay 100,000 for the Chinese one.

Vaccination drive is pure propaganda, zero access for the common people.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

As long as cards and appointments are prerequisites for getting the vaccine, than no. It takes time to get the cards in the mail and make an appointment for the time you want. Also, as long as appointments are made, but later turn out to be "no shows," then again. No. That wasted "no show" can be used for people willing to take the vaccine.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

In answer to the question. No, of course not. Nobody could legitimately argue otherwise.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Delta variant is here and about to open up a can of whoop-a$$ on Japan. Hopefully we will make it through.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

There will be no huge surge related to the Olympics or an Olympic Super Variant, the latter is absurd.

We hope. Because that’s the best plan, isn’t it?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

vanityofvanities

Of course, Not. Pfizer vaccines take effect from two weeks after the second shot.

"Evans said there was "pretty clear evidence" that you get at least 80% protection — and "probably" better than 90% — for Pfizer's vaccine against COVID-19 with symptoms after a single dose. He said you couldn't be absolutely sure what happens after 21 days because it hadn't been fully tested."*

(* Evans = Stephen Evans, a professor of medical statistics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a former drug-safety committee member at the European Medicines Agency)

https://www.businessinsider.com/covid-vaccine-one-shot-effectiveness-pfizer-moderna-astrazeneca-vaccines-dose-2021-3

I've also read from plenty of other sources (not in English though, so won't share the links), that the vaccine starts to work it's magic immediately after getting the first dose; you'll protection will be about 50% 2 weeks after the first shot, and nearly 90% after 3-4 weeks. The second shot is a booster, to ensure the strength and longevity of the shot.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

no peer reviewed clinical trials for vaccines against Delta Plus.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There will be no huge surge related to the Olympics or an Olympic Super Variant, the latter is absurd.

In 2019, most people would have thought it absurd to suggest that there would be a global pandemic in 2020, and that the Tokyo Olympics would be postponed to the following year.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

No not in time

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Just keep it up

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It does not matter if it is enough or not, it does not matter if there are Olympics or not, the most important thing is that everyone gets vaccinated as soon as possible so that the country returns to normal...

Keep that step of 1 million daily in vaccinations, Japan is finally doing better..

Like it or not..

GO JAPAN !!..

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

The answer is simply a decisive no. There is nothing to talk about because it is impossible, the time is too short now for people to be fully vaccinated, (including the two weeks after the second dose. ) And it is not like they didn’t know this and had months and months to prepare better by doing vaccinations in time by starting earlier, but they made a conscious choice not to.

of course the government may claim victory and just count first vaccinations before the Olympics even till the day before, eventhough this is a kind of useless statistic that shows very little in the way of safety particularly for the delta variant, spreading it merry way to become the dominant strain in Japan in the next couple months or less.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

As of Tuesday, about 8.2% of the country was fully vaccinated.

Um ... today is Friday.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

No, I don’t think so.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Of course, Not. Pfizer vaccines take effect from two weeks after the second shot.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Doubt it. Far too many people still waiting for their first shot. And that's the 65 year olds.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

I know 2people working at these places doing crowd control neither have been vaccinated and both said the old people are turning up hours in advance for the pre scheduled jab.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Keep up the 1M per day vaccination drive and protect those who need it. The Olympics is not a deadline. Fortunately it is the young people who are reluctant to take the vaccine. With future waves of infection they will make up the majority of cases and their healthy immune systems can deal with it, statistically.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

A resurgence of cases among the young has already begun in Tokyo.

what does this mean? How many cases? At what rate?

Also it takes about two weeks after the second dose to be effective. There's not enough time. Never has been all year long.

Japan isn't ready and should be closing its borders to protect itself, not holding a world international event that will only spread disease

13 ( +18 / -5 )

I seriously doubt it. I got my shot early because our company is getting them for all of us, as we will be in direct contact with olympic affiliated folks. We still won't get the second round until mid-July, and that is part of a pretty early wave.

My girlfriend is at a much smaller company and there isn't a hint about any of them getting vaccinated yet, certainly not by the government.

I am sure the vaccination environment will look better by the Olympics, but not good.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites