politics

42-year-old mayor gets COVID shot ahead of elderly

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It's a tough one - political leaders setting an example by showing their citizens that they are getting vaccinated, but at the same time not wanting to be seen to skip the queue. I don't think they can win either way.

In addition, re wasted doses, you'd much rather see someone get it rather than have it go to waste.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has millions of doses. I doesnt bother me at all that he got the shot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Doesn’t matter, as every quick vaccination counts. You can discuss that in some years , if you feel a necessity for that, but surely not now. Btw, what will you do against such rare cases, suck it all out of his arm to keep your stupid age group and other bureaucratic rules untouched? You really belong all into a forensic hospital, you weird psychos. But also get vaccinated before you enter there, for not creating the next super spreading cluster.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Don't let him have the second shot

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Though some will be annoyed, I don't mind this one so much. Some people, like senior government officials, do have more responsibilities than the elderly some of which aren't even working. The effect is greater if they go down, so if they get shots first I'll be understanding.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am pretty sure many country politicians were getting vaccinated before their citizens. Why is this unique to Japan? Heck, where I come from, sports players were jumping the lines.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Vaccine envy and fair play make for belligerent bedfellows...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It makes sense that government officials should get vaccinated first as the lead at politicians. 

If that's the case make it official.

Include all govt staff who directly participates in the inoculation efforts in same level of priority as health care workers.

But as it is now, it's probably just plain cue jumping.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If it was truely going to go to waste then fair enough but somehow I’m sure they could of found someone more eligible than him !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It makes sense that government officials should get vaccinated first as the lead at politicians. With them dropping like flies from the pandemic who can help to lead Japan??? The emperor???

Perhaps if they did *drop as flies" we would get a younger more modern generation to take all the oyajis places and get Japan into the 20th century maybe even the 21st century.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I work for an Embassy and they may be giving the vaccine soon to all who are working for them. A blithely are and I’m so appreciative to be under their umbrella.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It makes sense that government officials should get vaccinated first as the lead at politicians. With them dropping like flies from the pandemic who can help to lead Japan??? The emperor???

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Mayors and politicians, meeting people and going to gatherings is their job. They are more vulnerable to corona than ordinary citizens.

I am willing to bet the old Lady or old man working in the local supermarket is at far greater risk.

But then if the mayor in the middle of a pandemic is going to or having "gatherings" then he deserves what he gets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mayors and politicians, meeting people and going to gatherings is their job. They are more vulnerable to corona than ordinary citizens.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I personally don't care what he's done as I will be in wait and see mode regarding the jab for a few years, that said how stupid can someone be to confess in a press conference that they've jumped the queue, knowing that your political career is on the line?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So if we are to believe the Mayor, not a single person not even the Mayor knew another medical personnel, or someone over 65 they could call and could go and get vaccinated within the day?

No one knew anyone!

I am not even Japanese and I could pull out my phone and get at least 10 people that could be within Tokyo, Saitama or Chiba in an hour within their respective prefecture.

But somehow not a single town official or medical personnel on site could think of even one single person.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

just remind everybody when elect time comes around.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I know it is common sense to me anyways, but book a few extra persons on the wait list just in case someone doesn't show up. No shows will go to the end of the queue.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There will be massive bureaucracy regarding backups. It won't be a "just call someone else". The paralysis on the call lines demonstrates the scheduling the appointments to start with is very far from a "just call somebody" situation.

It should just be a list where people get ticked off, but it clearly is not, and because of that, vaccine shots will be getting wasted. The more waste there is, the longer it will take for everyone and the more it is going to cost. If both mayors' actions have highlighted this waste in the system, even through self-centered action, then good on them. The national government had weeks to work this out and set guidelines. As the above comments indicate, there are several countries whose model Japan could simply have copied.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What’s all the fuss about! This is Japan. You have the ruling class and the rest. It’s always been like this and always will be. ‘A leopard can’t change its spots’ TIJ!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So, stop making appointments if people are just gonna cancel. Have walk ins. First come first serve.

Sometimes life happens and a few people can't make their appointment. Perhaps they were on their way and got a call to pick up a sick child from school or their transportation failed?

I'd rather have the shot go into some arm than be thrown away. One of my sisters worked putting doses into arms and she suggested that I just show up at a location in the last 15 minutes to see if they had any unused shots. She said that sometimes people miss their appointments, but they have to thaw the bottles regardless.

The easy way to be there late in the day is to take your parents/grandparents to get their shots and fill your car with people too. Then if there are any extras available, there you are - ready.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Michael MachidaToday  06:52 am JST

Rude.

He thinks he's more important than they are? What a jerk. I'm 55 and I had to wait until some elderly got vaccinated. they're at higher risk than me.

Since this mayor isn't serving the needs of his city, he should resign effective immediately.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Survival of the fittest is a human trait.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So, stop making appointments if people are just gonna cancel. Have walk ins. First come first serve.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The excuse the vaccine would have gone to waste is just that an excuse.

This is Japan walk 2 minutes in any direction and you will find someone over 65 even during a SOE.

Make an announcement over the building's PA system offering the Vaccines to the first over 65 to show up, walk out on the street stop any elderly walking by ask if they want it, go the the nearest supermarket ask the manager to make an announcement offering to vaccinate anyone that comes forward over 65.

Plenty of ways they could have gotten someone else vaccinated.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

One of the problems is that the vaccine shelf-life, once out of the freezer, is only 6 hours. If 10 people are reserved to be vaccinated on a certain day and one cancels, then that 10th dose has to be used right away or else it goes in the trash.

They need to set up a substitution list of people willing to be vaccinated on short notice in case this happens. Any medical worker who hasn't been vaccinated yet: any of the elderly whose scheduled shot is still a long way away; and even those in the next youngest age bracket for vaccination eligibility would make good candidates.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just 42 years old and uses his position to jump the cue.

I would suggest investigating him fully because he is no doubt skimming and grifting as much his position can give him.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Confusion? How could you get more confused?!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Shirosato Mayor Osamu Katono in Ibaraki Prefecture told a press conference he received his first dose on April 28 along with other town officials, justifying the move by explaining there had been canceled appointments that day by health care workers, and the doses would have gone to waste.

Seems reasonable to me and also shows he has faith in the vaccine. Get those vaccines rolling!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

A 42-year-old mayor in eastern Japan came under scrutiny Thursday as he was inoculated against COVID-19 ahead of the elderly, in the latest case that could raise suspicion about fair distribution amid the country's sluggish vaccine rollout.

Ample evidence that in Japan's bureaucratic state, George Orwell's maxim in Animal Farm is true:

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

5 ( +7 / -2 )

He said Wednesday he received the jab for the sake of the town's "crisis management."

Mayor: I mean, look, people... there is a woman who rightly serves tea to the men. Imagine the confusion if the men were not there to receive the tea! You think an elderly person's life is more important than that??

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Japan has no system for calling others

You stand on the street in front of the town hall and ask anybody who seems the right age if they want a vaccine. I don't believe that in a country side Japanese city full with elderly people it would be hard to find one.

If yes, 1 minute before the expatriation data you still cannot find somebody, then you inject whoever. But I simply don't believe that was the case here.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I have no problem if the jabs had gone to waste. Areas in the US have been doing this, with residents showing up at hospitals and lining up for surplus doses late in the afternoons.

But Japan is a society where EVERYONE must suffer, even if they don't have to. No thanks!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Assuming the story is true, I agree with the mayor. Not because he got a scheduled shot before others, but because he saved a shot of vaccine that was headed for the trash can.

That is still a very poor excuse, in the same way he got to be included without making any reservation an elderly person could be included as well, it is difficult to believe that nobody could be reached by phone so they could get the shot. There is no need for any specialized mechanism, just someone that takes care of a waiting list and call when there is a cancellation.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Assuming the story is true, I agree with the mayor. Not because he got a scheduled shot before others, but because he saved a shot of vaccine that was headed for the trash can.

Japan has no system for calling others when scheduled recipients cancel or no show. A box of vaccine gets opened and the stuff remaining at the end of the day is trashed. In readiness for this situation, the UK has an emergency list and will call unvaccinated people of any age who can turn up at twenty minutes' notice. In Japan, it sounds like unused vaccine is binned because that is better than allowing people to jump the queue. Given the value and availability of the vaccine, this is almost the definition of "mottanai". If you want to slag off queue jumpers, there is the Sugi pharmacy family and the Olympic team and coaches, whose appointments are scheduled before more worthy recipients. Anybody of any age getting what would be unused vaccine is fine by me.

(I wrote most of this before thelonius got in above)

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If the dose would have been tossed otherwise, fine. I guess it's unfair that he is somehow first on the stand-by list, but if I could get in there somehow ahead of my time through a cancellation, I'd take it in a heartbeat, and so would all of you.

There needs to be a fair system in place to deal with cancellations and stand-bys.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Deeply concerning, this means he thought he could get away with it without any problem, so it is not likely these are isolated events, I would not be surprised if hundreds of doses were distributed invalidly like this so people in power can benefit while vulnerable population is left unprotected.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

He isn’t the only one!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Disgusting. Same thing is happening here in Australia, with politicians like state Premiers, the PM and many more getting jabs well before the majority of over-70s have had it.

I guess these "leaders" all think their lives are more important, just as the Olympic athletes do.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

No system in place, no organisation, just dog eat dog. So this is Japan. God help us.

in a nutshell- yes

0 ( +5 / -5 )

on a positive note, the whole C19 debacle, and not just in Japan, has shown up the sheer ineptitude of governments everywhere, and the sheer self-serving disdain for 'the people', of governments, and the IOC and other 'international organizations' (the UN, WHO, et al... all of which are well past their use-by dates, my view).... so the increased awareness of millions around the globe, of the reality, and the groundswell of altered perception and opinion that seems to be building of late, may eventually lead to change.... though people also may just be duped with more bread and circuses, a ploy that's worked for thousands of years. but.... just maybe.....

3 ( +6 / -3 )

“If the mayor, the one who gives the orders, gets infected, it would cause confusion. Is ‘confusion’ really the right word to be using here?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Is see nothing wrong with this. He is the mayor. It would be pretty stupid that someone of his status did not get priority for vaccination. Those that keep things running of course get better treatment.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Anybody surprised?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

What a week! The smugness @ arrogance by the IOC, Suga’s “lol” professor buddy, this mayor, and on, and on, ...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Feudalism is rife!

Japan...sigh

11 ( +14 / -3 )

This kind of justification across ALL levels of J Govt:

“I don't see a problem with it," he said.” -

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I think if you look closely, you will see many with access to the Pfizer vaccine (recall they had to do "testing") have gotten both shots. Meanwhile, my 70 year old mother in law waits for her first shot.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

You do you Katono!That vaccine could have gone to wastesigh

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

A mayor not fit for purpose. He has shamed himself before hos emperor.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Could also be read.

Prime Minister Suga gets the shot ahead of citizens

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Rude.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

42-year-old mayor gets COVID shot ahead of elderly

No system in place, no organisation, just dog eat dog. So this is Japan. God help us.

15 ( +24 / -9 )

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