Simultaneous distribution of “new corona vaccine” clinical trial recruitment e-mails for children…A big commotion broke out at an elementary school in Fukuoka Prefecture! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Simultaneous distribution of “new corona vaccine” clinical trial recruitment e-mails for children…A big commotion broke out at an elementary school in Fukuoka Prefecture!

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A “single e-mail” sent to parents of elementary schools in Fukuoka Prefecture is now causing controversy.

The e-mail was an invitation to participate in a clinical trial of a vaccine to prevent infection with a new type of coronavirus for children aged 5 to 11. The e-mail was distributed to 134 elementary schools in Fukuoka City as part of the “Anshin Mail” (an e-mail service that sends out information about disasters and school closures), and many parents have read it.

FRIDAY Digital obtained the original of the e-mail in question. The text contained a startling description of a clinical trial for children, in which the children would be paid 15,000 yen per visit for about eight visits to the hospital.

A parent whose child attends an elementary school in Fukuoka City, who confirmed the e-mail, is outraged.

Text of the “clinical trial e-mail” obtained by FRIDAY Digital

The “Anshin Mail,” which most parents read because its role is to inform them of emergencies from the school, arrived on July 29, and we couldn’t believe our eyes at its contents. I wondered if the school and the school board had been silent in allowing an act that could put children in danger. Parents immediately contacted each other and decided that this was not possible, and I am still confused.

Further interviews revealed that many of the parents had protested directly to the parties involved. Ms. A, who said she called the school board and the company that recruited the students for the clinical trial, said she was dismayed by the way both parties handled the situation, as if they were shifting the blame.

The school board said, ‘Neither the school nor the school board gave instructions (for distribution). We are surprised by the content and are in the process of checking with the distribution company. The company recruiting for the clinical trial explained, ‘We are only recruiting at the request of a pharmaceutical company, and we are taking sufficient risk management measures. Besides, they said they had already received several applications from parents who had read the e-mail. They would not tell us the type of vaccine or company that would be used in the clinical trial, as some deaths have been suspected to be causally related to adverse reactions to the vaccine. What do schools and clinical trial companies think about the practice of fishing for money and subjecting children to clinical trials? As a parent, I cannot allow this.”

How did this e-mail come to be sent? When we contacted Acrete, the parent company of Techno Mix, the distributor of the e-mail, and asked them how the e-mail was sent, they replied, “We do not respond to individual interviews,” and then gave us the following answer.

Techno Mix has examined the content of the “Call for Participants in Clinical Trials for Vaccines to Prevent Infectious Diseases” sponsorship in light of its own internal guidelines for the distribution of sponsorship e-mails as of June 5, 2023, when the company received an inquiry via an agent, and has determined that there are no problems, We have determined that there are no problems with the content, and have moved on to the process of sending out the e-mails.

The decision was based on the fact that so-called clinical trials are important and indispensable for the advancement of medical science, that they are of public interest, and that they do not offend public order and morals. However, when we received offers on July 25 from 13 of the 147 schools that were notified of the content of the distribution in advance to decline the distribution, we should have analyzed more deeply the possibility that some of the recipients may have misunderstandings or unpleasant feelings about the content of this issue. We regret that we should have discussed and considered this with the agency and the sponsor, including the possibility of suspending the distribution.

In other words, the company had determined that the content of the video was fine before distributing it. He continued, “We will not be able to take any further action regarding the content of the sponsored distribution.

We will not rely solely on our internal guidelines, which serve as a checklist for content, but will also give full consideration to the nature of the “School Safety Mail” as a communication tool targeted specifically to school children from elementary school to high school, students, and their guardians, and will take into account the feelings of those on the receiving end of the mailings. We will also take into consideration the feelings of the recipients. Finally, we would like to apologize again for any misunderstanding or discomfort caused by this sponsored distribution.

It states, among other things, that 15,000 yen, including transportation costs, is to be paid for one visit to the hospital.

When we also asked a representative of the Fukuoka City Board of Education about the circumstances that led to the distribution of the “Clinical Trial Email,” he said that the city was not aware of the content of the email in advance. The school board official told us, “The city was not aware of the contents of the e-mails in advance.

We have received many angry comments from parents asking us, ‘Did the school board know about this? The number is not limited to 10 or 20, and we have received calls from other departments as well. After interviewing them, Fukuoka City understands that 108 schools received the e-mail, and some schools received faxes in advance, and some of them objected, saying, ‘It’s not appropriate. There were also schools that expressed their intention to not have the distribution, but I heard that the distribution company explained that the sponsor company’s intention was also there, so please understand. The Board of Education believes that the “Anshin Email” is a valuable tool for communicating about disasters, etc., but that it is not appropriate to distribute vaccine trials on it. We plan to discuss how to prevent a recurrence of such a situation after repeated discussions with the distribution company.

After a series of uproar, the recruitment for the clinical trial has already been suspended. Still, parents are in disbelief at the sloppy handling of the situation, including by educational institutions.

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