News

November 22, 2021

Another COVID Wave Likely to Hit Japan, Shibuya Says, One to Two Months behind Europe

Despite a very slow vaccine rollout, Japan has now managed to get a higher percentage of its population inoculated than almost “anywhere else on Earth.” In an article on the BBC News website, Research Director Kenji Shibuya notes that the early chaos may be one factor behind its current success.

“Early on, there was a real shortage of vaccine available. That led to a kind of scarcity mentality prevailing, especially among the elderly.” Younger people who had to wait for their shots, meanwhile, saw that hundreds of millions of people in other countries were being vaccinated without dramatic side effects, reassuring them the vaccines were safe.

With people returning to offices and going out again, though, the infection rate may begin rising in Japan, despite almost universal mask wearing and social distancing. “We are one to two months behind Europe,” Shibuya says. “Very soon, we will see another wave developing.”

“Japan: From Vaccine Hesitancy to Vaccine Success,” BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-59342308

Profile of Research Director Kenji Shibuya
https://www.tkfd.or.jp/en/experts/detail.php?id=653

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