Japan's vaccine minister, Taro Kono, Photo: AP/Koji Sasahara/File
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Kono says inoculation pace to accelerate in May

57 Comments
By Rocky Swift and Elaine Lies

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57 Comments
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Talk of a 'bottleneck' is new. As far as I know there is not even a bottle yet.

And how do you 'accelerate' a process that does not exist and has yet to start? (Medical staff excluded.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This year after my second shot I will be sightseeing in several different places before the vast hordes of tourists start moving again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are roughly 200 countries around the world.

Only 5 countries or so manufacture vaccines.

Means, 195 countries have a headache?

Deal with the logistics as the rest of the world does, Mr. Kono.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

https://www.statista.com/topics/4544/pharmaceutical-industry-in-japan/

@strangerland

Thank you!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No rush, might as well let the people in the countries with economies relevant to the future global economy get vaccinated first.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Oh, is the government study of how to best vaccinate the entire population over? Now they can start the planning and purchase everything needed and create the bureaucracy needed to do it. This is going to take a long, long time. Hope it gets completed before the next Olympics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Accelerate vaccination Japan !!..

Vaccines for everyone, also for the antivaxxer losers !!..

LOL !!..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Last I hear from local medical sources, if you're in your 50's you can expect your vaccine in October. That's just pitiful, I guess I'll have to fly abroad to get it even in it means the mandatory 2 week quarantine here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would more than gladly offer to donate my place in the vaccination queue to someone more needy than me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

haven't seen/heard much about medications made and developed by Japanese pharmaceutical companies. Could you give me an example?

https://www.statista.com/topics/4544/pharmaceutical-industry-in-japan/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No point in making predictions when they keep changing

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kono with a childish mask and childish soft toy behind him. Please grow up and do your job properly.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

the reality is Japanese are highly advanced and many of the medications used in western countries were made and developed by Japanese pharmaceutical companies.

@Antiquesaving

I like your posts alot, but I'm not so sure about this quote. I've been around for 72 years now, born here, lived and worked abroad in Asia, America and Europe in an industry linked to medicine. But haven't seen/heard much about medications made and developed by Japanese pharmaceutical companies.

Could you give me an example?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@HimariYamada

Can't read the article it is behind a paywall.

Any place you know not behind a paywall.

Anyway, all the negative stuff about AZ has been political to get back at the UK over Brexit and by Germany and the USA to promote their own companies BioNtech and Pfizer and their far more expensive Vaccine.

At 5 time cheaper if they Left it up to the facts and market no one would want to buy Pfizer, so we have an AZ smear campaign.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, I'd like a vaccine.

Just not the Japanese one

Which is the Japanese one?

As far as I know, there isn't any Japanese Vaccine.

If you mean the AZ that will be produced in Japan.

Then give a reason.

Japan has a very well established Vaccine production as it produces tens of millions each year for influenza.

I know the westerners living here think poorly of the Japanese medical institutions but the reality is Japanese are highly advanced and many of the medications used in western countries were made and developed by Japanese pharmaceutical companies.

These include some of the top cancer treatments, Diabetes meds, etc...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"AZ vaccine pretty much ineffective vs. new strains, which will likely be dominant in the next few months."

Another great post by Dr. Braindead. Here is the truth:

AstraZeneca vaccine likely to combat new Covid variants

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/22/astrazeneca-vaccine-likely-combat-new-covid-variants/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Taken 6 weeks to administer 1 million. So what if they ‘get’ 10 mill a week...

Up to now only medical personnel have been vaccinated and a few other controlled groups.

Once vaccinations of the public starts if what my local doctor says is true, we will get the vaccine from the same places we usually get our yearly influenza vaccine.

My doctor has already been approached by the city as one of the vaccination centres.

Japan actually has a very large number of experienced vaccinated locations.

So once distribution of the vaccine to local doctors and clinics is in place I expect it will go very fast.

Doesn't look like Japan bis going to create special facilities like many western countries.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency 

The UK'S safety and review system actually had more reported cases of blood clots in numbers and percentage for the Pfizer Vaccine than the AZ vaccine.

For some strange reason no big deal was made about this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Taken 6 weeks to administer 1 million. So what if they ‘get’ 10 mill a week...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Promises promises. We have heard this before. Remember the Abemasks. And what about the increased testing. Just a day or two ago some minister was yet again making a dedicated promise that there will be increased testing to battle the disease. How many times have we heard this and yet again as usual the test numbers today were lower.

Anyone thinking the vaccine is going to be different is dreaming.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just in time for the Olympics

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Daichi Sankyo is producing the vaccine on behalf of AZ in Japan - report here is from Japan Times of Mar 12 -

Based on an outsourcing agreement concluded in February, the Japanese pharmaceutical firm began the vial filling and packaging of the vaccine Thursday (Mar 11) using undiluted solutions provided by AstraZeneca at its subsidiary Daiichi Sankyo Biotech Co., it said.

They already had an agreement for some anticancer drugs from Mar 2019.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yoshichuta@icloud.com

Google translate is not your friend...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How could it possibly slow down?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No any Japan’s English Media imply yet .

To the truth , AstraZeneca is manufacturing here in Japan two years later. The government must be factoring in the vaccine plant by own country . But now soon means quiet impossible unruly . In the domestic base produce mass vaccines on and on , supply the nationwide very vital effectively .

In India , AstraZeneca producing has got delay issued, what about the Japan’s case hereafter.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Arranged to buy... expected to get... hopefully sometime soon - not exactly instilling confidence is he.

In other words, Japan is reliant on the EU (hence the mask). The way things are going over there together with their production problems I wouldn't be hopeful that they will actually ship 10 million a month. In fact, I doubt if Japan will get a fraction of that and I think he fully knows that. Is he setting up the EU as the fall guy? And Japan is the victim? Another useless politician making vague promises he can't keep. Better pull your finger and get making it locally PRONTO before Japan becomes a laughing stock. Currently, Japan's vaccination rate is above Kazakhstan and below Myanmar - yes, below Myanmar, which is down near the bottom of the table.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All the muddle-headed commentary about the vaccine, reflects opining within varying media - actual science based, factual reporting, by genuine journalists states that the vaccines are effective and safe. Weird comments about Japanese manufacturers as 'on the take' in some form or lacking competence are simply absurd and ignorant.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Oh, I'd like a vaccine.

Just not the Japanese one.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Simply put,

"I want to go back home and see my mom and best friend"

Is that a lot to ask?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Its just a hunch, but it wouldn't surprise me that some other coronavirus or mutant strain will come around in the near future. If that happens, it would be nice for Japan to have its own vaccination production facility or program.

Not just for Japan, but for the rest of the world too.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Are they so sure that these money-grabbing Games will have no impact on the vaccination programme?

There are barely enough healthcare staff to care of patients, even fewer to conduct the vaccination programme, and fewer still to look after anyone who gets sick in July. Unless they can get up to 750,000+ vaccinations per day, they'll still be vaccinating people at the end of the year.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is trial gene therapy (since it's not a cure). If you want to sign-up to be subject - know that there is no recourse or reversal.

I'd strongly suggest digging around on the internet to see what a number of virologists are saying about mRNA and how it's going to alter how you body reacts to viruses in the future.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

For the "pace to accelerate" does it not have to have actually started?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Kyakusenbi_Arimasu

By the way, it is a pleasure t see hand sanitizers everywhere and hope it never ends. Keeps all sorts of yucky bugs away.

Probably the best thing to happen here even before vaccine is available.

Viral infections at a young age are important to ensure the proper development of our immune systems. In addition, the immune system is continuously stimulated by systemic viruses at low levels sufficient to develop resistance to other infections.

Our body is actually a superorganism of cohabitating cells, bacteria, fungi and most numerous of all: viruses. The latest counts indicate that as much as half of all the biological matter in your body is not human.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

BTW, a mask is not protecting you as much as you think. It’s rather protects others from you. That’s why in countries full of selfish bastards the virus is spreading like crazy.

Well said

6 ( +10 / -4 )

There are certainly drugs out there which stops the virus in its tracks.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

.....from a credible source please. Not ANOTHER wacko anti-vaxxer website please

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@blahblah222

A link to your info that AZ is ineffective against newer strains please?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am completely serious when I say I'd rather catch corona than wear a mask for the next decade.

BTW, a mask is not protecting you as much as you think. It’s rather protects others from you. That’s why in countries full of selfish bastards the virus is spreading like crazy.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

AZ vaccine pretty much ineffective vs. new strains

Where did you get this info?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He added that he expected to be able to get 10 million doses of vaccines each week in May

Add that to the long list of false promises as “we will be testing 200,000/day in Tokyo” and so on.

Considering how slow things have been happening around here, I don’t believe most healthy adults will be vaccinated before the end of this year/beginning of 2022.

Things happening with a delay here, as always.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I am very disappointed in how slow the roll out is going. The ONLY way the economy will recover is with confidence in public health. That requires large-scale vaccination.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

"Inoculation pace to accelerate" Great news! But lets face it, if they went any slower, they would have to start extracting already given vaccines from patients arms. As far as I know there are no plans for vaccine centers like in the UK, just the usual clinics and hospitals.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

AZ vaccine pretty much ineffective vs. new strains, which will likely be dominant in the next few months.

With the Japanese vaccine industry being a protected industry full of amakudari, corruption will prevent any successful vaccine drive in Japan. AZ’s Japan manufacturing deal likely included quiet a bit of goodies for some political families.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

What's to bet by May, Japan's own vaccine will be ready for distribution and all the fear mongering about side effects of foreign vaccines will lead to the Japanese loyally buying their own. All the while, the government skimming a profit off peoples health and putting everyone in jeopardy til they can make money for themselves.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I am completely serious when I say I'd rather catch corona than wear a mask for the next decade.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

By the way, it is a pleasure t see hand sanitizers everywhere and hope it never ends. Keeps all sorts of yucky bugs away.

Probably the best thing to happen here even before vaccine is available.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@Sven Asai

1-seems to work? Numbers are still rising, immunity against new strains is also questionable and it has a very low percentage, even again lowered by AZ itself. Not to forget those severe side effect cases, having temporarily forced lot of countries to stop vaccinations with AZ’s 2-cleared by other countries? That’s no criteria here at all. They clear everything in their panic, just grabbing anything where vaccine is printed on the bottle or label; some crazy countries like Venezuela or Madagascar even deny vaccines and swear on some strange fruit extracts only...lol

What recent report are you basing this on?

There were some political comments made about AZ a few months back during the dash to get hands on early supplies, but those have faded. So much so, Macron has even offered to have it live on TV.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is good since it seems to work and has been cleared by other countries.

@HimariYamada 1-seems to work? Numbers are still rising, immunity against new strains is also questionable and it has a very low percentage, even again lowered by AZ itself. Not to forget those severe side effect cases, having temporarily forced lot of countries to stop vaccinations with AZ’s 2-cleared by other countries? That’s no criteria here at all. They clear everything in their panic, just grabbing anything where vaccine is printed on the bottle or label; some crazy countries like Venezuela or Madagascar even deny vaccines and swear on some strange fruit extracts only...lol

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Hey, what's a few more thousand dead citizens, when you've got the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Japan's medical profession and government are in perfect accord on what's best for the hoi polloi?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Yeah, blame the supplier. We have way more vaccines than is being used. Who's slow now?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Kono said that while the vaccine prevents symptoms, people shouldn't depend on it alone and need to maintain preventive measures such as wearing masks and hand washing.

Many people don't want to hear that.

This answers my question I had in another article today here, can we throw away our masks after vaccine, stop use hand sanitizers and so on...

Because that is exactly what people want or what people assume.

Many People think that this is the purpose of the vaccine and why they take it: To be immune against the Virus and go back to normal life without any restrictions or preventions.

But that is wrong.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

He added that he expected to be able to get 10 million doses of vaccines each week in May

I am marking his words.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"Starting in May, there will be no bottleneck in supply,"

A bottle-neck created because... ?

"...but that the Tokyo Olympics, set to start in July, were not factoring into the schedule."

Yeah, you gotta love someone who just out of the blue states non-reasons for doing something. And even if he had been asked when he said that, I have a unicorn to sell you if you believe him.

""If we have somebody manufacturing vaccines in Japan, it would take away half my headache,"

A headache YOU created when you waited for someone to do it, and they failed. That's why we're in this mess... that and the dead snail's pace things move here.

"Kono said that while the vaccine prevents symptoms, people shouldn't depend on it alone and need to maintain preventive measures such as wearing masks and hand washing."

That's funny, because people stopped following suggestions even before they were made, and started partying as soon as SOEs were lifted. Hence, the "uptick" (4th wave) coming on. And for a person who says that vaccines aren't a silver bullet, you sure are advertising and playing it up as one. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief when Pfizer tested it effectively, and people start loosening up rules despite it not coming here for MONTHS after.

"Though he frequently tops public opinion polls as a top choice for prime minister, Kono sidestepped questions about when he might take up the job."

I like the "when" and not "if", or even "if and when". Of course, it's all predetermined here -- Kono has been walking around the chairs to the music, same as the other politicians waiting for the music to stop and their turn to take the chair. It wouldn't matter if he were NOT topping opinion polls... the old boys have decided, so it will be so.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

"Good choice, just as expected. "

It is good since it seems to work and has been cleared by other countries.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine seems safe and effective, but miscues worry researchers

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/health/story/2021-03-26/daily-covid

and Japan has Moderna and PPfizer.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to have enough doses for the country's 126 million people by June,

But I expect my vaccine, or better say vaccines available for the "ordinary" population, by December 2021.

My optimism for August-September is gone.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

The government has arranged to buy 120 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

Good choice, just as expected. lol (Irony) Hopefully anybody has the guts to cancel that order in time, before any payment for that worst stuff of all is due.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

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