Experts reach out to Japanese youths to debunk COVID-19 vaccine myths

Japan Times -- Sep 21
Will vaccines against COVID-19 cause infertility in women? Or will a dose make someone sick because the live coronavirus is inside the shot? After all, aren’t the vaccines unsafe because they were developed too quickly?

Such rumors and false claims have been spreading online, especially on social media, spurring anti-vaccination attitudes among Japanese young people, who have been left until last when it comes to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine shots.

To dispel such myths, virology experts and the health ministry have taken up the mission of persuading the public to protect themselves from the coronavirus through inoculation, and in doing so make up for what turned out to be lost time in setting out the benefits and safety of the shots. In Japan, vaccinations are not mandatory.

The move shows the messages sent by the government and its top officials, which were aimed at encouraging the public to get vaccinated, did not resonate with younger generations.

To dispel the myths surrounding potential side effects, the health ministry has launched a site with detailed factual information about them, with the initiative especially targeting young women concerned about the effects of the vaccines on fertility.