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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 11 - 17  > JCP Miyamoto in Diet deliberation calls for giving top priority to safety in gov’t COVID-19 vaccination program
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2020 November 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

JCP Miyamoto in Diet deliberation calls for giving top priority to safety in gov’t COVID-19 vaccination program

November 11, 2020
In discussions on a bill to promote a COVID-19 vaccination, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Toru on November 10 at a House plenary meeting stressed that the government should confirm a vaccine’s safety first.

Miyamoto said that Japan is now witnessing an apparent third wave of COVID-19 infections and that new cases are surging worldwide. Under this situation, he added, Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has expressed his intent to relax inbound travel restrictions and resume Japan’s economic activities globally.

While acknowledging that vaccines are an important public health tool, Miyamoto pointed out that some vaccines in the past made headlines after they were found to have serious unexpected side effects. He insisted that no more people should suffer because of the government’s failure to check vaccine safety.

Miyamoto noted that a candidate vaccine, which is planned to be provided to the Japanese government, is reliant on a very new, untested technology. In addition, citing a case of a patient who had serious symptoms in his/her second COVID-19 infection, Miyamoto pointed out that there is concern that a vaccine may aggravate the symptoms of some patients. He also said that immune responses may differ between people of different races and that a vaccine approved overseas may turn out to be harmful to Japanese.

Miyamoto emphasized that the government should not neglect safety and effectiveness screenings of COVID-19 candidate vaccines in exchange for fast-tracking approval.

Miyamoto quoted the chief of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases as suggesting that screening of candidate vaccines may be conducted in a more streamlined manner than usual as the current situation demands speed. He said that a sloppy screening process could threaten the public health.

Stating that everyone has the right to choose whether to be vaccinated, the JCP lawmaker urged the government to disclose all relevant information so that individuals can make an informed decision. Miyamoto claimed that it is also essential to make it clear that all people, including medical and nursing-care workers, have the right to refuse a vaccination.
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