politics

Wealthy nations, once praised for success against virus, lag in vaccinations

49 Comments
By NICK PERRY

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49 Comments
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I think US pharmacies have nurses on standby for giving the shots.

In Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, the vaccination rates are languishing in the single figures.

Right up there with Japan. 0-9 shots per day.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I am wrong but cannot change my post by an edit button.

pharmacy technicians who traditionally have served as support staff but, thanks to a recent regulatory change, are now able to administer vaccines in many states.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Can' compare NZ/Aussie with Japan - they have largely eliminated the virus, and their health systems are not in any danger of collapse, unlike Japan.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

Under the conservative medical culture, people only trust doctors and nurses enough to do so.

Dentists are willing to help and are authorized, but have not been called upon. Getting shots from pharmacists at drug stores like in the U.S. or from volunteers with no medical background other than a brief training like in Britain remains unthinkable in Japan.

Unthinkable? Ask the average Japanese and I think they would be fine with a pharmacist so long as medical care was nearby. Diabetics have to give themselves shots every single day. The excuses just keep multiplying.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Australia have confirmed the purchase of 25 million doses of the Moderna vaccine today.

Also three of my Australian family over the age of 65 have been fully vaccinated with two others a few weeks away from their booster shots. My wife's elderly family members here in Osaka have no information on how or when they will be vaccinated.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Well, most people might not have vaccines here yet, but we did get a mask sent to us from the Prime Minister, incentives to travel round the country, and an international sporting event coming up!

Seriously, you couldn't make this stuff up!

24 ( +24 / -0 )

The article fails to mention that Australia and New Zealand have zero or close to zero community transmissions everyday and no recent deaths.

25 ( +25 / -0 )

Under the conservative medical culture, people only trust doctors and nurses enough to do so

Not sure if that is true.

Getting shots from pharmacists at drug stores like in the U.S. or from volunteers with no medical background other than a brief training like in Britain remains unthinkable in Japan.

Same with that comment.

I feel some one is making excuses for the inexcusable.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Tell us about it...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Comparing Japan to Aust/NZ is like comparing apples to grapes. You will look like an idiot.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

It’s not always lagging behind, some have already gained knowledge. Vaccinations alone aren’t the key anymore. It’s not only rather impossible to reach herd immunity quickly, but restrictions will still be needed as well as hygiene measures, masks, distancing etc. Also, if the viruses get more and more under vaccination pressure they develop more mutations, setting the whole pandemic or vaccination progress back to the starting point. You see, there’s a lot more to consider than only ramming the syringes into a million arms a day and as the propaganda promises that would end the pandemic tragedy once and for all very soon.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

agree with most posters above.

comparing Japan to OZ, NZ, Taiwan, and S Korea who have all managed the infections well pre vaccine is VERY disingenuous.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

So... spending money at the beginning... supporting workers and businesses and doing a true lockdown

vs... doing almost nothing and allowing it to burn a massive hole in the economy

That's kind of like... building a house with no insulation, and paying $500-$700/month in heating/cooling costs over many years. Oh yea I forgot they do that here too.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Wealthy nations, once praised for success against virus, lag in vaccinations

You could have had a more straightforward title by simply naming Japan.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

What do AU,NZ, SK. TW and JP have in common ? Poor education !

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

Countries that have done well are not rewarded as they do not get priority to receive the vaccines.

By the way, Japan did 250,000 shots a day over the last 3 days.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

@ Sven

It’s not always lagging behind, some have already gained knowledge. Vaccinations alone aren’t the key anymore.

All those other measures (aside from vaccinations) don’t seem to be working too well over here though are they?

Also, if the viruses get more and more under vaccination pressure they develop more mutations,

Once vaccinated the virus has less chance of mutating as mutations occur when the virus multiplies and spreads. Reads like you don’t understand at all how mutations can occur.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It's a little difficult to vaccinate without vaccines.

But the vaccine producing countries have all honored the vaccine orders so those lagging countries are clearly at fault =)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Under the conservative medical culture, people only trust doctors and nurses enough to do so.

I see, so it's the people's fault, and no way the inept government is responsible.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Under the conservative medical culture, people only trust doctors and nurses enough to do so.

I see you fully brought into the government and media propaganda to place all of the blame to the Japanese people.

It's a little difficult to vaccinate without vaccines.

Japan have all of the vaccines, they just do not and will not distribute. Japanese held vaccines are all just gonna expire in storage.

It appears that Japanese gov. propaganda is working wonders.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Without faster vaccinations, Australasia and Japan remain vulnerable to outbreaks, repeat lockdowns and variants that could make them the next India. They will remain prison islands until the vaccinations increase.

The nationalist response has failed. The virus is globalised. The response should have been.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Australia and New Zealand have virtually eliminated the virus, but there are definitely concerns about the slow pace of vaccinations and the possible side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine, especially in Australia. No question about it, if you read their newspapers each day. They need to open their borders and to do that, they need to vaccinate their population, or they will remain isolated from the rest of the world.

Australia's tourism industry has been gutted and it also needs the millions of dollars that foreign students contribute to the economy each year. If they can't go to Australia, they'll go to Britain (which is already campaigning to get them) or Canada.

Qantas had hoped the government would reopen international borders from October and had started taking reservations. Then the treasurer pulled the rug out from beneath them on Tuesday when he said that international borders might not reopen until mid-2022.

So, yes, Australia and NZ get top marks for eliminating the virus but an average mark on vaccinations.

Japan, on the other hand, has been a disaster in every aspect of dealing with the pandemic. I sure wish embassies could be authorized to vaccinate their citizens living in Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So, yes, Australia and NZ get top marks for eliminating the virus but an average mark on vaccinations.

They don't need high marks to keep the population safe, average is completely acceptable. I think that's the point everybody is trying to make.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I think western countries do not want to embarrass Japan by vaccinating its citizens in embassies, but they really should.

I can say with absolute certainty that the general population in Japan will not get access to vaccines this year. Even if a miracle happens and Japan reaches 300,000 vaccinations a day on average (which absolutely will not happen), in half a year time (180 days) Japan would have only dosed 54,000,000 times or enough for 27,000,000 people, so they will not even be done with the elderly by end of this year.

Next year, the 200-subject phase 1/2 "tested" Shionogi vaccine will be approved with zero convincing evidence of efficacy, and the general population will likely be funneled into that vaccine, and watch as the vaccination process "miraculously" pick up pace by then.

The only hope is that all the neighboring countries would have completed vaccinations of their own citizens by then and allow for vaccination tourism early next year.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

A story about “health” listed under politics.

JT may have inadvertently dropped some truth.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

comparing Japan to OZ, NZ, Taiwan, and S Korea who have all managed the infections well pre vaccine is VERY disingenuous.

Quite so! It's really easy to "control" a virus when all you have to do is play games with the numbers!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Can' compare NZ/Aussie with Japan - 

Some new research suggests that variants effect different indigenous peoples according to DNA. This is very interesting research as this shows that researchers are thinking outside the box.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The rollout is not a competition. Each state has varied local situation, policy and ultimate goal.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally negotiated with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla to get early access to vaccines, and called in the military to get them in people’s arms. In the U.S., some groups handed out doughnuts, free drinks and even marijuana to get people to roll up their sleeves.

On the one hand, I think they've done well to respond timely to local demands and priority. They took some risk, which turned out to hit a jackpot.

On the other hand I feel sorry to see many lives being lost in Israel and US due to crimes and armed conflicts after reopening. People now suffer other than covid.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

In South Australia we almost never wear masks, and basically everything is normal. I went to a football game last with with 50,000 people without a mask anywhere except from once you enter/leave the ground to your seat (and while you get drinks etc). But otherwise it’s an oddity to see someone where a mask here.

The biggest differences I see here is that EVERYONE is told to get a Covid test if any signs of a cold etc. Its free for everyone and is available in many locations. At work if anyone has any indication of a slight cold even is sent home to get a test (mind you, most people just call their boss now as coming in with even a sniffle is much much worse).

We also lock down HARD if we get more than a few cases of ‘community transmission’. Literally everything has been shut down within hours by law. Everything except supermarkets, pharmacies, hospital, doctors etc. You ARE NOT allowed to leave your house for anything except groceries and urgent medical requirements. You cannot go to work unless you’re in emergency services. Exercising outside your home is illegal and you will be arrested if found (and people were).

So this makes me think that locking down hard is best to lower numbers, along side reinforcement of urging everyone to get a free test anytime you have symptoms, with a result back within 24 hours. Masks help (and during lockdowns everyone was wearing a mask), but maybe should look into lockdown as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Australia, which isn't providing a full breakdown of its vaccination numbers, is also performing comparatively poorly

With Australia only having a handful of community transmitted cases in the last two months vaccination is not a priority.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For some countries like New Zealand and Canada, it's a supply problem that has been slowing down vaccinations. It's not ideal but it's understandable considering the logistics and negotiating involved. Japan doesn't have a supply problem. The vaccine is sitting in warehouses. It's again outdated thinking and unwillingness to change (Japanese are special so require domestic clinical trials, only MDs can administer vaccinations) that is retarding the process. It's completely self-inflicted as usual.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's face it. USA and UK were doing so bad they had to force-feed the vaccinations.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I was told I could find out when I could get a vaccination by checking a site online. I couldn't. I asked the city office why I couldn't and was told the website was not ready, and to try again on 13th. Today is the 13th. I tried and again couldn't. I went to the city office to ask why. Server down. Try again in June. In June you should be able to make an appointment for a vaccination in July.

Why do I expect yet another delay?

Now I can login and it is up and running.

And even though it crashed, it seems the maximimum number of people had already reserved.

Internet reservation acceptance has ended

2021/05/13 11:09

Internet reservation reception limit has reached the capacity

Precautions when entering on the login screen

2021/05/12 09:35

Please enter the vaccination ticket number, date of birth, and password in half-width characters.

Reservation start date and time

2021/05/12 09:31

Reservations will begin on Thursday, May 13th at 9am.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Big Strong Olympic shot putter looks like they cant handle the the small ineedle too well, what an absolute waste of resources going into this, when millions of the most deserving and vulnerable wont even get close to the virus or getting a chance of the vaccine, but the fittest, biggest, strong, fastest get it handed on a silver plate.....golden medal coming right at you ! For acting and pushing the agenda while receiving what millions of others should be in line for.

These athletes should be hanging their heads in shame!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Going for my second Moderna shot this afternoon. 41 y/o male.

And I waited a bit to sign up, too- could've gone sooner (a LOT sooner in my case, I do business with law enforcement so I technically qualified to go get a shot in January, but I didn't).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan I believe tops in the worse of providing shots less than 1 percent. With NZ, they don't even have to wear masks, because they closed their boarders almost ASAP and have almost zero cases like Taiwan and so no need for the vaccine at this time for these 2 countries. Australia too, they close their doors immediately, unlike Japan, they wait for a couple weeks to see what they should do, and so, leaving us citizens vulnerable.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What's amazing is they're paying each restaurant 40,000 yen a day to close in Kobe..I guess similar amounts in other areas because of the state of emergency.

How much money are they wasting because of their lack of planning and incompetence?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan made a huge mistake in not vaccinating early. There is no excuse for the third-largest economy in the world to be so far behind in vaccinating its population. Now Japan has a surge in variant virus infections that are running rampant in young people (

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nirse looks like she's throwing darts

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That pic doesn't really make me want to get vaccinated! How about one of someone smiling when injected!?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What is the underlying issue as to why Japan doesn’t want to use the received boxes of vaccines that are just sitting their piling up dust? Even a high school kid could work out a way in a class project to get the job done. Does it have something to do with finding a way out from hosting the Olympics or some other political reason? Dumbfounded.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Let's face it. USA and UK were doing so bad they had to force-feed the vaccinations."

I can't speak for the UK, but as an American living in Columbus OH, no one has "forced" anyone to take a shot. Thanks to the idiocy of the previous administration, there was no coordinated response to COVID, so it was left to the states to come up with their own solutions. But when the vaccines slowly became more available, the people who wanted a shot started signing up to get them.

In Ohio, that meant starting with those 80 and up, and prioritizing nursing homes and their staffs. Then the priority worked its way down the ladder, and I recall in late March everyone 16 and up became eligible. Because you could get the shot anywhere that could store them properly, we saw them at pharmacies, grocery stores, even church parking lots.

But right now, many places don't even require an appointment, you just walk in, get in line and get your first shot and (if Pfizer or Moderna), an appointment for your second one. I got my second shot at a local clinic 15 minutes' walk away from where I live last Friday, barely a five minute wait.

As of this morning in Ohio, approximately 41% of the population has received their first shot, and some 36% has had their second one.

Demand seems to be slowing down because of people who worry that "there's not enough research done" or those who listen to the fanatical political base of a certain party. But again, no one is "forcing" anything. In fact, the Governor announced yesterday that in three weeks, all mask edicts for the average person will be ended, and all restrictions will be lifted.

Though in my opinion, I hope that next school year school officials will require COVID vaccinations to be included with the other vaccinations returning students need to get back into school. Common sense, IMO.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"That pic doesn't really make me want to get vaccinated! How about one of someone smiling when injected!?"

I thought "really? I barely felt my shot!"

But then, I'm 59 and also diabetic, so I give myself a shot four times a day :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Samsung Biologics will be the Asian production base of Moderna vaccine, SK BioScience will be Novavax’s Asian vaccine production base. Japan will recieve Moderna vaccine from Korea.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This is pretty stunning. Korea managed to have secured Korean production of Moderna vaccine in exchange for Korean investment of $10 billion Samsung foundry and $8 billion Hyundai EV production expansion in the US as "gift exchange" package negotiated with Biden administration during Moon's US visit next week, but no such gift exchange was negotiated during Suga's US visit last month and Japan is still dependent on imported vaccines from Europe and Korea to vaccinate its entire population.

https://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?sc=30800028&year=2021&no=461940

Moderna to name Korean CMO for its Covid-19 vaccine before Korea-US summit: source

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

There are several reasons for this:

Vaccine diplomacy. Developing nations have been flooded with offers of vaccines from Russia and China from multiple manufacturers. This isn't out of altruism, but an attempt to curry political favour with those nations. The vaccines on offer (Sinopharm) are usually effective in preventing severe forms of the disease, but not the infection itself.

Developed nations are generally waiting for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines which are based on new mRNA technology. These are over 90% effective in preventing infections in first place. Production difficulties have slowed the deliveries of these vaccines, leading to delayed vaccination campaigns or to some nations authorising the use of alternatives to reduce deaths from COVID.

Developed nations also have been struggling with rolling out mass vaccination campaigns and incorporating them into their existing healthcare systems. The process and bureaucracy for mass vaccination campaigns tends to be well established in developing nations for obvious reasons.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan brings the average down so many points...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'd rather get covid than that poison.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't want poison or covid, so I got vaccinated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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