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Japan pulls 1.6M COVID vaccine doses over contamination worry as COVID’s unfold causes heartache, Paralympic anxiousness


Tokyo — Japan’s Well being Ministry has pulled about 1.63 million doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine out of use after 39 unused vials at eight vaccination websites have been found to be contaminated with a still-unspecified substance. No issues of safety have been reported. All the suspect vials have been manufactured in Spain.

Moderna has been despatched primarily to mass-vaccination facilities in Japan, resembling universities and enormous corporations, and it was unclear how badly the incident would possibly set again Japan’s already-delayed inoculation marketing campaign. Greater than 800 vaccination websites have been affected.

Touring a vaccination clinic in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward on Thursday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga advised Japanese media that he’d ordered well being officers to “make security our prime precedence” in responding to the contaminated vaccine concern. He supplied assurances that the incident “wouldn’t have a big impression” on the nation’s vaccination program, which lags considerably behind these of different main industrialized nations. 

OLY-2020-2021-TOKYO-US-DIPLOMACY
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (C) and his spouse Mariko Suga meet with first woman Jill Biden (L) on the Akasaka State Visitor Home in Tokyo on July 22, 2021 on the eve of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games. 

STR/JAPAN POOL/AFP through Getty Photos


Suga, whose recognition has taken a beating over his dealing with of the pandemic, stands for re-election to the ruling occasion presidency on September 29. The chief of the governing occasion routinely turns into prime minister in Japan.

One in every of Suga’s rivals, former overseas minister Fumio Kishida, threw his hat within the ring on Thursday, suggesting he would take extra aggressive measures to struggle the unfold of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, in keeping with the Prime Minister’s Workplace, solely 42.6% of Japan’s normal inhabitants was absolutely vaccinated.

Whereas Japan has additionally permitted each the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, considerations over blood clot points delayed rollout of the latter till this week; it’s being restricted to these 40 and over, as in Britain. 

COVID and the Paralympics

The Tokyo Paralympics introduced on Thursday — Day 2 of competitors — that the primary participant had been hospitalized for COVID because the Video games started. The affected person was described as a overseas non-athlete, with out life-threatening signs. Fifteen others, together with two overseas rivals staying on the Athletes’ Village, have examined constructive, for a complete of 184 Paralympics-related instances.

Japan’s newest wave of COVID-19 has dented the spirit of joyous empowerment and positivity that the Paralympics is attempting to convey. 


The challenges of reporting on the Olympics

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Seijiro Takeshita, a professor who lives together with his household southwest of Tokyo, advised Newsplaneta Information that the worry amongst residents is palpable: “I might say that when it comes to frustration and anger and, most of all, fear and anxiousness, is unquestionably reaching its peak.”

Restrictions broaden with hospitals full

On Wednesday, with the Delta variant driving every day instances past 25,000, an present state of emergency within the Tokyo area was expanded to 21 of the nation’s 47 prefectures.

Together with prefectures lined by a less-onerous quasi-state of emergency, almost the complete nation was below some type of anti-viral restrictions once more as of Thursday. The variety of extreme instances in Japan, now at 1,964, has hit new highs every day for the previous few weeks.

Tragic tales of sufferers unable to get admitted to overwhelmed hospitals and compelled to recuperate at dwelling have change into alarmingly widespread. 

Final week in Chiba, east of the capital, well being officers revealed {that a} pregnant lady in her 30s affected by COVID had been unable to discover a hospital mattress and went into untimely labor at dwelling. The toddler was declared useless quickly after.



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