When the municipal authorities were preparing to vaccinate young people for Covid-19, some people were overwhelmed by phone calls and emails from angry people who opposed the young people’s vaccination.
Officials say that many people who oppose the move appear to be opposed to the coronavirus vaccine and are particularly sensitive to the prospect of youth vaccinations. As part of the anti-vaccination campaign, numerous phone calls and e-mails almost paralyzed the service hotline, including death threats in some cases, prompting some municipalities to withdraw their promises to vaccinate young people receiving full-time education.
Pediatricians have recommended the Covid-19 vaccine to teenagers, but they said they need to proceed with caution.
According to the municipality, it was not until they announced their plan to vaccinate school children — after the central government decided last month to approve Pfizer to vaccinate 12-year-old children — they became the target of a series of calls from all over the country.
One of the municipalities is Komaki City in Aichi Prefecture. Earlier this month, the city stated that it is considering prioritizing vaccinations for middle school students so that they can be vaccinated during the upcoming summer vacation, which usually starts in late July.
The idea is to help get back to normal as quickly as possible so that the school can continue a series of “once in a lifetime” school trips and other activities, many of which have been scaled down or cancelled due to the pandemic, said a Komaki city official who asked not to be named.
But soon after, the city faced a series of phone calls and emails urging it to reconsider this decision.
“Many of them expressed concern about the possible long-term side effects of the vaccine on children. Others also said that children should not be treated as guinea pigs and their future should not be ruined,” the official said. He said the city received about 100 such calls and emails, which hindered its ability to meet other vaccine-related inquiries and reservation requests.