Case of urticaria reported in patient after COVID-19 vaccination in Japan

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The government said on Saturday it received a report of a rash, but no serious side effects were reported following the rollout of the vaccination that began on Wednesday.

The case took place at a hospital in Toyama Prefecture on Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s office said in a tweet.

Japan launched its vaccination effort on Wednesday, initially covering 40,000 medical workers in 100 hospitals across the country.

Japan will receive its second shipment of the vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical maker Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech SE on Sunday, Taro Kono, the minister responsible for vaccination efforts, said on Friday as the rollout gradually expands to hospitals from the country.

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Kono told a press conference that the shipment of up to 452,790 vaccines is expected to arrive after the European Union gives its approval under its new vaccine export controls.

Japan, which received its first delivery of 386,100 doses from the Pfizer plant in Belgium on February 12, launched its vaccination program on Wednesday, starting with an initial group of 40,000 health workers.

The Department of Health, Labor and Welfare said 5,039 people had been inoculated at 68 medical facilities as of 5 p.m. Friday, with no reports of severe allergic reactions, also known as anaphylaxis, after the administration of shots. Hospitals in 31 prefectures had started vaccinations on Friday, and the rollout is expected to expand to 100 hospitals by next week.

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If a person dies due to side effects following a coronavirus vaccination, the government will pay 44.2 million yen in compensation to the bereaved family, according to the Department of Health.

Japan aims to secure enough vaccine for all residents by the end of June, but prospects for new shipments and rapid vaccine deployment have been clouded by European Union export restrictions.

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Japan has also tried to increase its stocks of special syringes that allow an additional sixth shot from each vial of vaccine amid a global shortage of products. So far, the country has obtained enough special syringes to cover the first 40,000 health workers.

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