After three booster campaigns in 2022, the Japanese are now in a league of their own among mRNA consuming countries, administering far more boosters than countries that had far more coercive vaccination campaigns.
Japanese over-65s have done their best to reduce Japan’s 612-million-dose stockpile of mRNA jabs, with third, fourth and fifth jab rates of 91%, 82.5%, and 56%, respectively. But unfortunately, Japan has started 2023 by reporting its highest ever daily Covid death tolls. During the booster era starting in early 2022, each wave has been noticeably higher than the last.
What could possibly explain this? Let’s ask Takaji Wakita, Chairman of Japan’s Covid Response Advisory Board: “The cause of the rise in Covid deaths is hard to explain.”
What about Dr. Satoshi Kamayachi, Director of the Japan Medical Association? “There’s a lot we don’t know, and we don’t have evidence.”
Nice to see an expert admit the limit of his knowledge. But there must be something Dr. Kamayachi can tell us, right?
Dr. Kamayachi, citing the rapid spread of Covid infections as one reason, explained that the majority of those who died were over 60 and many had underlying medical conditions. The direct cause of death is often heart failure or kidney disease, and he said that “thorough analysis is needed”.
Heart failure, you say? Well, it’s not like most Japanese over 60 have been injected multiple times with anything that causes cardiovascular problems, is it? And kidney disease is coincidentally a side-effect of Remdesivir, an approved Covid treatment in Japan.
Of course, Japan has been counting anyone who dies with a positive test result as a Covid death regardless of actual cause of death since 2020, but Dr. Kamayachi and the rest of Japan’s experts haven’t bothered bringing up the issue of attribution until now. In fact, they were more than happy to cite inflated mortality data to help promote the jabs. But now that people may question why daily reported Covid deaths are higher than ever after the majority of over-65s have taken the experts’ advice to get multiple boosters, underlying medical conditions can apparently be discussed.
But although he’s three years late, Dr. Kamayachi has a point. Although reported Covid deaths have been much higher in the booster era, far fewer Covid cases have been receiving mechanical ventilation (the grey line shows the number of ventilators (with ECMO) secured for Covid patients).
But even if hardly any of them have been struggling for breath on mechanical ventilation, Japan’s elderly have been dying in higher than expected numbers in the booster era. The national figures for December won’t be out until late February, but Yokohama (Japan’s second largest city) has already releases its all-cause death numbers for 2022. Somehow I doubt Dr. Kamayachi will call for a “thorough analysis” to find out the cause of the increase since August.
Although there’s no good news here for Japan’s vaxxed-to-the-max elderly, there is for Japan’s medical establishment: high numbers of Covid deaths mean the publicly funded Covid gravy train will keep going. From the Nikkei.
On January 11th, experts offered their on views reclassifying COVID-19 under the Infectious Diseases Act. In light of the current situation where the number of reported Covid deaths per day is the highest ever, the experts called for the Government to continue to provide a certain amount of financial support to cover treatment and hospitalisation costs and for securing hospital beds.
Basically, the Government’s selected experts, including Dr. Wakita above, recommend that Covid should be downgraded ‘gradually’, i.e., medical costs should continue to be covered by public funds rather than health insurance or out-of-pocket payments like every other medical condition. This might seem reasonable. But under the current scheme of Covid support payments, hospitals can be paid ¥436,000 ($3,370) per day to ‘secure’ a single ICU bed regardless of whether anyone is in it. And overpriced Covid treatments include glorified cold medications like Shinogi’s Xocova.
So let’s recap what the experts have told us. The cause of increased Covid deaths? “Dunno.” Should the Government keep showering medical institutions and pharma companies with money? “Absolutely!”
Well, what were you expecting them to say?
Guy Gin writes regularly on his Substack page, Making (Covid) Waves in Japan, where this article first appeared. Subscribe here.