By the end of October 2021, while many europeans countries are having 10,000 to 40,000 cases per day, Japan with a much larger population is having less than 100 cases covid cases per day. When you look at their vaccination rates, they are more or less like France, and below Italy, Spain and UK, and they havent started to administer boosters at all, apparently.

Is there any identified policy Japan is doing to successfully reduce COVID-19, that other countries aren't using?

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    Having looked into it, this question is not really about a medical sciences topic, but is more about public health policy. I think this would be a better bet on Politics SE. I think you can request migration.
    – bob1
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 23:09
  • Meh, countries in Eastern Europe also had very low numbers this summer. (Which caused many people there to not get vaccinated as "not needed anymore".) And then they didn't have low numbers after the summer vacation ended. See graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/… for instance. Instantaneous numbers can be misleading. (Although politicians love to claim credit for them when they are low.) Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 19:10
  • Somewhat of an interesting story. Apparently the lack of vaccines early on in Japan has led to a "scarcity mentality", which overcame the high hesitancy that the Japanese actually do have for other vaccines, esp. in the older groups. I doubt this replicable on purpose... The other factor seems to be that they stick with non-pharmaceutical measures; e.g. they keep wearing masks. Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


The truth is, perhaps, not so politically correct; but it is simple: The higher the vaccination rates, the more trouble with COVID cases. Israel is a prime example. It became the first country to have a majority of its population vaccinated. Around the same time, it began having a surge of new COVID cases. This information is documented in news reports of that time, such as this one:


Naturally, they try to explain it. But having lived in a landlocked undeveloped country where there were zero vaccinations, and zero cases, and which then had twenty cases but no deaths (they likely had no ventilators, and masks were not even required to enter the one hospital in the country designated for COVID cases--I entered it myself multiple times without), I witnessed that as soon as the vaccines were pushed, a surge in COVID cases happened...which the government attempted to blame on illegal border crossers.

We can look at places where more data exists to do more careful analysis of what is happening. Take Florida, for example.

Florida vaccination rates varied by county, as depicted in the graphic below (SOURCE).

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Its case/transmission rate also is known, and varies by county.

enter image description here

See the full, actual report from Florida's department of health HERE.

The images indicate that the highest rates of transmission occur in the counties nearest the half-way point for vaccination--the areas where, mathematically, the greatest numbers of "unvaccinated" would have contact with a vaccinated person.

But keep in mind that none of these statistics are accurate. The CDC does not consider one to be vaccinated until two weeks after the vaccine was administered. This means the statistics are skewed. It could be that the majority of the case transmissions were actually in those recently vaccinated. We simply cannot know because of the way they arbitrarily draw the line.

See the CDC's own statement on the two-week vaccination rule here:


So, if the vaccine induces COVID-like symptoms, which are taken to be COVID, and if the vaccinated are still called unvaccinated for the first two weeks, it stands to reason that the rates of "transmission" will be highest in areas actively administering the vaccine. Japan's lower vaccination rate helps to explain its lower numbers of COVID cases.

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    Interesting synthesis of the data, but I'm afraid a bit of a non-sequitur of an answer. Vaccination wouldn't be taken as COVID - it simply won't show up on the tests performed. There are a number of countries around the world with high vaccination rates and low COVID incidence (NZ, Australia being two obvious ones). The answer is that the Japanese are better at following rules - fewer lockdown protests, stringent restriction rules in place etc.
    – bob1
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 7:17
  • @bob1 How would you explain the fact that the counties with the lowest vaccination rates also had the lowest rates of COVID?
    – Polyhat
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 14:20
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    @Polyhat In a lot of under-resourced countries, there are neither resources for vaccines nor for testing. In the US at least, vaccine hesitancy is highly correlated with political leanings, which in turn are highly correlated with an urban/rural divide. Urban areas are more susceptible to infectious disease because there are simply more people in contact with each other. If you actually look at case/hospital/death rates in vaccinated people versus unvaccinated, you see the clear benefits of vaccination. When you look by country/state/county, you need to consider confounding factors.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 16:15
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    @Polyhat All that antivax nonsense ignores the fact that the best clinical data says vaccines are highly effective, especially at preventing serious illness. Anecdotes aren't a good substitute. No one claims vaccines prevent every single case or make people invulnerable - if it did we wouldn't have to worry so much that everyone get vaccinated to protect each other rather than just themselves.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 1:02
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    @Polyhat As the old saying goes, the plural of anecdote isn't data. The notion that more will die of the vaccine than the virus is pure anti-vax propaganda that's actually quite outrageously and provably false. Your data in this answer is a good example of anti-vax manipulation of data.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 2:23

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