No, Japan has not banned COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

By: Umme Kulsum
April 2 2024

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No, Japan has not banned COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

Screenshot of post claiming that Japan has banned COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Source: Facebook/ Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

Japan has released no official statement regarding any ban or intent to ban the COVID-19 vaccines.

Claim ID 694daedb

What's the claim?

A claim widely circulating on social media platforms alleges Japan has banned COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Former Brexit Party politician Jim Ferguson also shared the claim with the caption, "Breaking News: Japan bans mRNA Covid shots. Japan has just banned Covid mRNA shots for public use and called on other nations to follow suit after an official government study tied the injections to the nation's soaring sudden deaths." He further claimed that the "sudden deaths" in Japan have been linked to COVID-19 vaccines. Ferguson's post had 4.5 million views, and over 11,000 reshares at the time of writing. An archived version of the post can be found here.

The claim has also gained widespread traction on Facebook, with many users sharing screenshots of X posts by Ferguson and many others sharing unsubstantiated claims and articles from websites, such as 'Prepare for Change.' A user on Facebook shared one such article with the caption, "Japan has banned the MRNA covid shots. Ivermectin is also widely available, unlike in the UK. Other countries, including the UK must now follow suit (sic)." Archived versions of such posts can be found here and here.

Screenshot of claims made online. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

What did we find?

Logically Facts found no official announcement from the Japanese government regarding a ban on COVID-19 vaccines. There are no mainstream media reports about Japan outlawing COVID-19 vaccinations.

The claim originated from an article by 'Prepare for Change" which was published on March 24 with the title "Japan Bans Covid Shots over Soaring Sudden Deaths." Further investigation revealed that the article references another website called ''. We accessed this website and found the original article. 

However, the claim furnished on both the websites in question has no scientific basis. Logically Facts thoroughly checked Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's official website and came across no official statement regarding COVID-19 vaccines allegedly leading to "sudden deaths" and therefore necessitating a ban.

It should be noted that claims about "sudden deaths" in the alleged aftermath of use of COVID-19 vaccines had first surfaced after the release of the pseudoscience documentary "Died Suddenly" in November 2022. Apart from debunking claims made in the film. Logically Facts has fact-checked various claims about "sudden deaths," some of which can be read here

In December 2023, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare had authorized the use of ARCT-154, a self-amplifying messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine, for both initial vaccinations and booster doses in adults aged 18 and above, as reported by science research website Contagion Live.

Following the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines in Japan, the government initially offered them free of charge to all residents. However, in late 2023, Japan's health ministry announced that residents would be required to pay for COVID-19 vaccinations starting April 2024. There has, however, been no announcement of a ban on COVID-19 vaccines.

Until March 31, Japan operated a website called 'Vaccine Navi' through which citizens could sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations. Starting April 1, a new policy came into effect, indicating that individuals intending to receive COVID-19 vaccinations would incur charges.

We checked the official website of Japan's health ministry, which shows Pfizer—which is an mRNA vaccine— is one of the approved inoculations, in addition to Moderna and Novavax.

Logically Facts has also reached out to Japan's Ministry of Health for comment and this check will be updated if and when we receive a response.

The verdict

Japan has not outlawed mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. There is no credible evidence confirming this information or suggesting that these vaccines led to "soaring sudden deaths" in the Asian country. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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