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My wife is Japanese and frequently gets news items sent on from her Japanese friends. One came which had the headline “Japan drops all vaxxine mandates, places myocarditis warning on label”. This was obviously of interest to me as a congenital anti-vaxxer, particularly in the wake of a few newsitems last week that seemed to put an exclamation mark on why being “vaccine free” (in contrast to the language of “unprotected” found in the liberal Left and “unvaccinated” in our mainstream media) was actually a good thing:
- Omicron was spreading faster amongst the vaccinated than the unvaccinated (official British government Office for National Statistics) – yep, makes a mockery out of that ‘unprotected’ motif.
- The European Regulatory Authority (ERA), an EU body, had announced that regular booster vaccinations might undermine your immune system and had added a rare spinal disorder to the list of side-effects of the mRNA vaccines.
- BBC articles asking why so many athletes and in particular tennis stars did not want to be vaccinated are now being written – dear BBC: that one is not hard to answer, with heart attacks amongst the vaccinated athletes, with these heart attacks sometimes caught on camera, and heart and spinal diseases now listed as possible ‘side effects’, there is an understandable reluctance to take so much risk when as a strong, fit person there is minimal risk to you.
Not sure about you but I was not even aware of any significant side-effects until a few days ago, it certainly has not been in the public discourse, none of my vaccinated friends and family have mentioned it being explained to them, never heard about it in our media and to put the exclamation mark on my point, neither of the first two reports from last week were reported by our media. The official line is “you are getting sick because you did not have your booster”. So, it did not surprise me when I heard about what had allegedly happened in Japan but the truth as exposed by the “fact-checkers” turned out to be more interesting than the ‘fiction’ of the story. Politifact ran a ‘fact check’ on this article which has appeared in various places around the world, notably the Brisbane Times. Now it turns out that Japan never “dropped” its mandates because it never had any in the first place:
“Forged in the aftermath of World War II, Japan’s Constitution enshrines civil liberties,” the Japan Times reported. “For practical purposes, that means it hasn’t deployed lockdowns or compulsory mask rules as part of its pandemic approach. It’s taken the same approach to vaccination, with the health ministry discouraging discrimination against the unvaccinated and shot requirements in the workplace.”
The article shared on Facebook also said that Japan had placed a myocarditis warning on vaccine labels, which is accurate. The action came in early December, months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did the same in response to rare incidences of heart inflammation in people receiving mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Experts have said that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the small risk of myocarditis.
“Experts”, that wonderful term again! So, this is hardly a fact-checkers paradise – what it does show is that the Japanese, often accused of lacking compassion as a people and an ethical compass in public life (they have not signed some significant international conventions such as child protection) – have actually been far more respectful of their citizens than the sneering democrats of the West who have been so quick to criticise and denigrate them as a people. In the UK and plenty of other places around the world, people are now finding it a condition of their employment to be vaccinated in health services in particular. Sweden, who attempted to implement from a public health perspective, a similar policy were ruthlessly castigated in the Western press to the degree that even the King of Sweden criticised the chief immunoligist and epidemiologist of Sweden who had advocated that firewalling of the vulnerable (a mistake they admit they made early on in not doing), no lockdowns and ‘herd immunity’ was the only rational and sustainable way to deal with the ‘pandemic’. Astonishingly, politicians began to overrule their chief scientists who had the courage to stand against the tyranny being advocated elsewhere in Europe. However, Sweden did stay far more open and suffered far fewer deaths as a proportion of their population than hard lockdown centres such as my country, the UK. Just as California and New York serve as examples of ‘lockdown and restriction heavies’ and can be contrasted with ‘Free Florida’ where death rates are not significantly different, with the additional irony that New York politicians were caught on camera holidaying down there maskless as they were passing legislation enforcing further restrictions and mandates on their own people.
Stepping back from all the emotions and trying to be even slightly objective and scientific in the light of our data, it should be almost self-evident that vaccination and lockdowns have proved unsuccessful in curtailing the spread and mutation of the virus. The most outstanding success of the vaccine has been to create billionaires out of the head of the largest vaccine manufacturers despite the failure of their products. Everyone that I personally know who is ill with COVID has been double-vaxxed and boosted. Significant virologists and immuniologists were warning that mass vaccination was more likely to create a vaccine-resistant mutation that could potentially create a more dangerous variant. Thankfully, this was only half true – a vaccine resistant variant did emerge (Omicron) but it has shown to be relatively mild. All the talk is now of “learning to live with COVID”, “half of all colds will be COVID“…and videos of partying politicians whilst they were locking down the public has meant that for the UK, it looks like all COVID restrictions might be gone in 10-days.
Of course, to be able to travel freely again and to freely access venues and the like is the next fight. We cannot allow the “new normal” to be discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. Politifact helps us again there with the example of Japan, Japan believes in “informed consent” and would hold the government liable for damage caused by adverse reactions. There have been no mandatory vaccinations since a landmark ruling which would hold the government responsible. Japan has stayed open, and the people are far more relaxed about COVID, despite vaccine passports and self-isolation. Hats off to Japan, I salute you!