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Syringe shortage hampers Japan's COVID-19 vaccination roll-out

34 Comments
By Kiyoshi Takenaka

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34 Comments
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This is clearly down to a lack of both competence and communication. Only the government could have failed on such a colossal scale.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

If this can be reported daily for the last 6 weeks, then why is this still news?

And the gov't keeps saying "Trust us".

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Isn't this something that these companies could have anticipated on like in December? Why wait for the government to request and then start taking preparations? By the time they have spent the money on building a new assembly line they'll get it from the Chinese who can expand in a matter of weeks

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Scrambling? You would think having a year to prepare "Scrambeling" not a prepared response. If there was any prepared response at all. Just a second I have 100 sit ups to do.ohhhh my tummy is in trouble. Think I could be PM for a month or two.,

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Both a Pfizer Japan spokeswoman and a Japanese health ministry official declined to say whether the contract to supply Japan with 144 million doses of vaccine by the end of the year is based on six doses being taken from each vial.

Hopefully not but most probably.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

No forward planning, not a clue.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

I can see how this could be a problem. Seems that with planning, this problem could have somehow been avoided. But I guess the powers to be know what they are doing. ; ^ 0 Heh, heh...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is clearly down to a lack of both competence and communication. Only the government could have failed on such a colossal scale.

No, it is due to Pfizer changing the label from 5 to 6 doses per vial after Japan already agreed to buy a certain amount of doses. As written in the article, we don't know if Japan is paying for the 6th dose. But many other countries such as France, Belgium and Sweden are having exactly the same problem.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

No lack of needles for powerful and the rich who are getting right and left. Do not buy it people. There is no lack of needles to get your vaccine injected. The COVID vaccine has now become a buy in to generate doe.

Very dark days ahead.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Isn't this something that these companies could have anticipated on like in December? 

Do you seriously think that the people of charge here, Kono and Nishimura, know anything about needles, or anything related to vaccinations?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

therougou

No, it is due to Pfizer changing the label from 5 to 6 doses per vial after Japan already agreed to buy a certain amount of doses. As written in the article, we don't know if Japan is paying for the 6th dose. But many other countries such as France, Belgium and Sweden are having exactly the same problem.

It's called "unforeseen circumstances". If you're running a business, you must be prepared to face them, because they'll occur. If you're running things on much higher level, like a government, you should be ashamed even to admit such incompetency and blame others. Because that wont change the situation.

Sure, the countries face the same situation, but they react. But our government always fails reacting quickly. It's always meetings, looking into things, discussing and filling excel sheets.

What's worse - it's been bit more than a month knowing about the 5/6 doses. One month is pretty long time to cover at least the first batch or find a solution for a GOVERNMENT.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sure, the countries face the same situation, but they react. But our government always fails reacting quickly. It's always meetings, looking into things, discussing and filling excel sheets.

They are slow usually, no doubt about it. But as I said, other countries are in the same boat this time. France have already been using only the 5 doses. Other countries don't have any viable solution. At least Japan is trying to ramp up production. And as said, we don't even know if they have to pay for the 6th dose or not.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

And as said, we don't even know if they have to pay for the 6th dose or not.

I think you are missing the point completely. It's not the question of how many vaccines the taxpayers pay for, but how many you get.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

At least Japan is trying to ramp up production. 

They should not "try" to "ramp up production" this late. They should just buy some from China.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I'm pretty sure I saw the exact same news a week ago ?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Pfizer originally intended for 5 doses per unit. "6" -saving proposal arose later amid the delivery level process, amid the production shortage. Though poor communications are to blame, it's rather irrelevant or excessive to keep attacking the J-government officials solely on that ground. EU and others also got troubled.

Besides, the faster jab to target groups of people is currently the top priority.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Inoculating its population swiftly is a top priority for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government ...

Oh common, we all know that nothing, absolutely zilch, happens " swiftly" when it involves J-government.

We are getting a request from the health ministry and we need to take some steps

The govt is just issuing the " request" now? ...fgs. what next.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When will coordination be perfect ???

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So far only Becton Dickinson (BD), an American medical tech manufacturer can produce a special syringe designed for 6 doses, predominating the global market. Pfizer switched policy amid the production shortage, leading to de fact price rise for a unit.

I never say all is pre-planned maliciously. But it is pretty relevant to ask who would benefits from this mishap or vax politics.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Japanese panto continues!

A doctor friend here reckons it will be June before we get the vaccine in Kansai

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Did they hold a meeting to discuss this issue?

Clearly not. Otherwise there would've been no issue in the first place.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is Pfizer change the problem. All countries do face the same problem if they want 6 doses

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There was a virus vaccination drill just two weeks ago and I said at the time that it was pointless because they fail anyway. Now they don't have enough syringes! How more inept can this government be?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"No, it is due to Pfizer changing the label from 5 to 6 doses per vial after Japan already agreed to buy a certain amount of doses. As written in the article, we don't know if Japan is paying for the 6th dose. But many other countries such as France, Belgium and Sweden are having exactly the same problem."

@therougou

Unfortunately, many posting here detest the truth.

They would rather believe in an alternative World where Japan and the Japanese are responsible for the Dodo's extinction. And the Dino's too.

Never mind their lovely other, better countries are experiencing exactly the same problems as Japan, in many cases faring far worse.

Then you get down-voted (as if I care) or the Mod deletes the post as "unrelated"!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Communication breakdown.

Every branch of Japanese government is working independently of everyone else with very little inter-department communication. A mess.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They will buy more doses or produce/buy more syringes. Since there is insufficient testing going on, more is needed anyway because they will have under-projected the amount needed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I will gladly donate my allotted vaccination to anyone who wants it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not a problem. Just make sure ALL the politicians, celebs, and other "elites" get jabbed first.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Did Pfizer not mention this important detail?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lets be honest because Japan doesn't have druggies like other countries the syringe shortage could be the reason why. Other countries with drug problems seems to have no issues.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Reckless

As pointed by several before : Pfizer is messing with its customers. He changed the label when it found out in fact the amount the vaccine vial was carrying could in fact provide 6 vaccine doses instead of 5 if you have the right syringe and trained nurse to extract it. In the beginning the amount left was seen as normal waste, thus the vial were labeled as 5 doses. So now countries are facing of issue of syringe but also the issue of the ability to get the 6 doses without air bubbles and loss related to getting ride of these.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because "Go To Travel" was their priority at that time...

Isn't this something that these companies could have anticipated on like in December? Why wait for the government to request and then start taking preparations?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"...but manufacturers are struggling to ramp up production quickly, raising fears that millions of doses could go waste."

Yeah, because this is so sudden and they haven't had ANY time to prepare, and Japan is clearly ahead of the game and the first country vaccinating, so none of this could have been predicted at all. And now not only can they NOT give shots to the elderly in the anticipated time frame, they're now very likely to waste a whole lot of the vaccines it took them forever to get. Well done again, Japan!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan is great at exporting but crap at importing.

And since Japanese skin is different from foreigners’ skin then there has never been a need to import syringes.

In Japan, there has also never been a need to devise a syringe to maximize the number of doses in a vial since it is the Japanese tax-payer subsidizing the medical industry where waste is profligate...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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