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Fri Dec 11, 2020, 02:50 PM

Why Japan lags in the Covid-19 vaccine race


My slightly longer answers:

The most cost-effective way to hold down Covid-19 is a mask. Japan has one of the highest mask-wearing rates and one of the lowest death rates from Covid 19: fewer than 3,000 died in the past 12 months out of a population of 126,000,000.

Yes, you still get waves. The current third wave is peaking and cases should drop toward January, but the fourth wave should be in March. But we are not talking millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths as in other countries that cannot keep their masks on. Japan’s strategy of using masks to buy time has worked very well.

A 100-yen mask probably has more than 90% efficacy if worn by over 95% of the community. That’s almost as good an outcome you’d get from a messenger RNA-based vaccine refrigerated at minus 80 degrees centigrade and inoculated at 5,000 yen per arm – twice.

Unlike Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong, Japan did not experience MERS or SARS. The nation thinks it is a first-world nation that practices first-rate public hygiene. Complacency? Yes, some of that. But common sense says: Wear a mask.

National security considerations for a country that retired its last F4 Phantom, a Vietnam-era relic, just last month? Again complacency? Yes, some of that. But common sense, too. It is not the vintage of the jet that counts. In a truly defense-only strategy it is the kill rate of the anti-aircraft missile, whether launched from a stealthy F35 or from a shoulder of an illiterate teenager. Think mask.

Japanese scientists would be the first to acknowledge that Japan is behind the front line pharmas of the US and EU when it comes to DNA/RNA based pharmaceuticals. The nation is still allergic to recombinant technology whether it be for food or medicine. Blame that on the Ministry of Education.

Japanese medical professionals would be the first to complain that the Health Ministry has a tendency to take its time approving anything new. This is the legacy of thalidomide, HIV-infected supplements for hemophiliacs and other missteps in the past. The nation rewards caution more than it rewards those first across the ever-changing finish line.

How a society addresses its technological challenges is revealing. American astronauts discovered that they could not use ballpoint pens (patented in 1888) in low-gravity space; they asked for a new technology. How did the Russian cosmonauts address the issue? Pencils.

While we wait for the vaccine, wear a mask.


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Reply Why Japan lags in the Covid-19 vaccine race (Original post)
Klaralven Dec 2020 OP
GusBob Dec 2020 #1
Klaralven Dec 2020 #2

Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Fri Dec 11, 2020, 02:56 PM

1. they are talking about the development of a vaccine by Japanese companies

but it is unclear if they will be using vaccines developed by other countries ?

Im easily confused

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Response to GusBob (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 11, 2020, 03:08 PM

2. Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca are doing tests in Japan

But the big Japanese pharma companies are not making very rapid progress.

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