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Healthcare volunteer Melissa Lowry prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at a regional vaccination site in Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Healthcare volunteer Melissa Lowry prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at a regional vaccination site in Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Healthcare volunteer Melissa Lowry prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at a regional vaccination site in Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Monique Curet
By Monique Curet October 29, 2021

Japan is still vaccinating people against COVID-19

If Your Time is short

• Japan has not stopped its COVID-19 vaccine rollout. The day after this claim was published, Japan administered nearly 600,000 COVID-19 vaccines in a single day.

• More than 71% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Oct. 28.

• Ivermectin is not approved by the Japanese government as a medicine to treat COVID-19.

Following a summertime surge, Japan’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have quickly plummeted, and while experts say vaccines were key to the turnaround, false claims say the opposite.

"Japan drops vax rollout," says the headline of an article published Oct. 17 by the Hal Turner Radio Show. The headline also says the country "goes to Ivermectin, ENDS COVID almost overnight."           

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Japan did not stop its COVID-19 vaccine rollout. The day after the claim was published, the country administered nearly 600,000 COVID-19 vaccines. And ivermectin is not approved by the Japanese government as a medicine to treat COVID-19.

Japan’s vaccine rollout was very slow compared with the United States and Britain, with vaccination of those over age 65 beginning in mid-April and most people under age 65 not becoming eligible for vaccination until June 21. The rollout also hit road bumps, making headlines when a batch of Moderna vaccine had to be recalled because of contamination.

But Japan’s vaccination rate now has surpassed both the U.S. and Britain. As of Oct. 28, 71% of Japan’s population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a rate that puts it among the top three in the Group of Seven nations.

In the past two months, Japan has seen COVID-19 cases drop from a high of more than 20,000 a day in August to about 300 per day in late October. As of Oct. 13, the country had 4 cases per 100,000 people. Hospitalizations are now around 3,000 after hitting a high of more than 230,000 in August.

Experts say the high vaccination rate and universal mask-wearing were key to the turnaround. Other factors included the public’s cooperation during the recent surge in cases.

Our ruling

An article published by the Hal Turner Radio Show said, "Japan drops vax rollout."

Japan did not stop its COVID-19 vaccine rollout. The country administered hundreds of thousands of doses on the day after the claim was published. More than 71% of the country’s population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Oct. 28.

Ivermectin was not a factor in the country’s recent turnaround in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and is not approved by the Japanese government as a medicine to treat COVID-19.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire! 

 

Our Sources

Asahi Shimbun, "EXPLAINER: Why Japan has been slow to roll out vaccinations," May 14, 2021

JapanToday.com, "Over 70% fully vaccinated in Japan; among top 3 in G7," Oct. 27, 2021

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, "Current Situation of Infection,"  October 13, 2021

New York Time, "Daily coronavirus cases in Japan fall to the hundreds after a summer peak," Oct. 28, 2021

Our World in Data, "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations," accessed Oct. 29, 2021

PolitiFact, "Japan has not approved ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment, and it's still using Moderna vaccine," Sept. 14, 2021

Prime Minister’s Office of Japan, "About the new corona vaccine," Oct. 29, 2021

The Mainichi, "Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Japan," accessed Oct. 29, 2021

TimeOut Tokyo, "Here’s the tentative timeline of Japan’s Covid-19 vaccination programme," Sept. 21, 2021

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Japan is still vaccinating people against COVID-19

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