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No, Japan Didn’t Drop its COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and Switch to Ivermectin

The Japanese government has not authorised the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.

Published
WebQoof
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The Japanese government has not authorised the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19. Image used for representational purposes.</p></div>
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A screenshot of an article, which claims that Japan has dropped its COVID-19 vaccine rollout and has opted to use the drug Ivermectin is being shared on social media platforms. The screenshot also notes that by doing so, Japan has ended COVID-19 "almost overnight".

The body of the article further states that the United States still experiences a coronavirus crisis because it fails to follow the proper treatment procedure.

However, we found that Japan has not stopped COVID-19 vaccinations. According to reports, Japan is also considering starting booster shots for its citizens. Moreover, Japan's COVID-19 treatment plan names many different drugs for therapeutic treatment of the coronavirus, but it does not include ivermectin.

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CLAIM

The screenshot is being shared across social media by users who believe it to be true. We found that the screenshot used in the claim originated from a website called 'The Second News' and was taken on a mobile phone.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of this post can be accessed <a href="https://perma.cc/9E8A-9Y2V">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of this post can be accessed here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

The article in the screenshot makes the following claims:

  1. Japan has dropped its vaccine rollout

  2. The Japanese government switched to administering Ivermectin to its people

More claims across Facebook and Twitter can be seen here, here, and here.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We looked up Japan's coronavirus vaccination numbers and saw on Our World In Data, that as of 21 November, Japan had fully vaccinated 9.64 crore people, and had partially vaccinated 30 lakh people.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Japan has fully vaccinated 77 percent of its population.</p></div>

Japan has fully vaccinated 77 percent of its population.

(Source: Our World In Data/Screenshot)

Next, we looked at the website for Japan's Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency website, which is a regulatory agency that works with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan.

Here, we saw that the Japanese government had authorised the use of therapeutic drugs such as Remdesivir and Baricitinib for the treatment of COVID-19, but did not use Ivermectin for the same.

Moreover, the website also noted that three COVID-19 vaccines – by Pfizer Japan, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and AstraZeneca – had been approved for use in Japan.

Next, we looked at news reports on coronavirus vaccines in Japan. According to a Bloomberg report in October, the Japanese health ministry had received recommendations to commence booster shots for COVID-19 for residents who had already received two doses.

The report also noted that the government was planning to provide booster shots to healthcare and frontline workers as early as December this year.

Japan Times reported that Takeda Pharmaceutical Company announced that they would import an additional 5 crore doses of Moderna's vaccine from the USA from "as early as the beginning of 2022".
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It further reported that the central government had previously signed an agreement to receive 50 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine by the end of 2021.

Evidently, Japan has not dropped its COVID-19 vaccine rollout and turned to Ivermectin for the treatment of coronavirus. The screenshot makes inaccurate claims about Japan's management of the pandemic.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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