Spanish-language posts circulate false claims about Japan’s COVID-19 vaccine policies

Spanish-language social media posts are spreading the false claim that Japan banned mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. One user known for spreading false information about vaccines in Spanish also falsely claimed that the supposed ban was due to “rising sudden deaths in the country” and that the government encouraged “other nations to follow suit.” 

Recommendation: These types of false claims may cause patients to doubt the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and may promote distrust in guidance from government and public health officials. Debunking messaging may emphasize that Japan has not banned COVID-19 vaccines. The country only announced that COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be free and that vaccinations will continue for a fee. Japan’s health ministry also said that excess deaths had been on the rise before COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out and that there’s no evidence showing that vaccines caused them. Additionally, global data contradicts the claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause excess deaths, including one 2023 analysis that found that higher COVID-19 vaccination coverage was associated with lower all-cause mortality rates across 178 countries. COVID-19 vaccines. In the more than three years since COVID-19 vaccines were first administered, over 70 percent of the world has been vaccinated without any evidence of widespread safety concerns. The CDC recommends the updated COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.