Omicron strains are spreading around the world. On November 29th, Japan, which had been lax in its border control measures, decided to ban the entry of foreigners from all over the world. However, the Omicron strain had already “landed” in Japan.
The shock came just as the fifth wave, which had the largest number of infected people in history, had finally subsided and it seemed as if daily life had returned to normal. But there were signs.
Most of the infected people were unvaccinated.
With whispers of a sixth wave coming in the winter, a cluster broke out in Asahikawa, Hokkaido on November 12. Of the 22 infected people in Hokkaido, 15 are in Asahikawa. One after another, people were infected in the drinking area. What is going on in the city now?
Ninety percent ofthe infected people had not received two doses of the mRNAvaccine. The clusters occurred mainly in karaoke bars. The public health center is having a hard time dealing with it.
Dr. Yasuyuki Abe, a doctor on the front line of vaccination in Asahikawa City, is a palliative care physician who experienced the chaos at Asahikawa Medical University following the spread of a new coronary infection from 2020. He is currently a visiting professor at Asahikawa Medical University and has established a clinic specializing in home visits. He has been actively providing coronary vaccinations in Asahikawa City.
Winter is just around the corner.
It is said that the season is irrelevant to the spread of new coronas, but in Hokkaido, ventilation is a major problem. In Hokkaido, however, ventilation is a major problem. Many buildings and houses are airtight to protect against the cold, and without a new ventilation system, there is not enough ventilation. November In November, the minimum temperature is already below freezing, so it is difficult to keep the windows open. The issue of cold and ventilation is quite difficult.
The cluster outbreak was caused by the combination of “inadequate ventilation” and “unvaccinated” conditions as the cold weather increased. With a sense of crisis, the city of Asahikawa, with the help of Dr. Abe, set up a system where vaccines can be administered at the AEON in front of the station until 8:30 p.m. without an appointment.
We are able to reach out to people who are not so-called ‘vaccine avoiders,’ but who have not been vaccinated because it is difficult to get an appointment or because they can’t get to the vaccination center in time. There are also people who are afraid of vaccines but are willing to take the plunge. On the other hand, there are people who come into the vaccination room without masks, or say, “Hey, Sensei, I’m going out for a drink, can you give me a shot? The demographics of the unvaccinated people vary.
Even so, when I’m in the field making preliminary examinations for vaccinations, I can clearly see that the ‘one-time effort’ of making an appointment has become a barrier.
Japan was late in starting vaccinations, but early in starting them. As of November, 77.3% of the population has been fully vaccinated (two doses), which is a very high vaccination rate even by global standards. However, there are still some people who say they don’t take vaccines because they are too harmful, and others who do take vaccines but are afraid to go and get psychotropic drugs.
One thing you have to be careful about is anaphylactic shock. I’ve had at least I have given the new corona vaccine to at least 3,000 people. I have given the new corona vaccine to at least 3,000 people, and so far none of them have had anaphylaxis. There were a few people who had a history of anaphylaxis, and some of them carried EpiPens with them, but after the vaccination, they went home without any problems.
Although the condition is not serious, there are many people who have experienced fever or lethargy after vaccination. This kind of adverse reaction is another reason why people believe that vaccines are dangerous.
The vagus nerve reflex is a condition in which the parasympathetic nervous system becomes dominant due to nervousness, causing a drop in blood pressure, which can lead to collapse or even fainting in severe cases. This has nothing to do with the type of vaccine or its contents. That’s why it’s important to know how much you can relax during the preliminary examination. There are some people who come to the venue with a lot of nervousness, so I try my best to ease their tension during the preliminary examination. If they are worried about adverse reactions, I tell them, “If you have a fever or swelling, it means you have a good immune system! I told them. It’s not accurate (laughs), but I think it’s good if they see it as a positive sign.
The doctor jokes with me during the preliminary examination for the vaccination. I wondered if he was trying to ease my mind. I was struck by this small consideration at the vaccination site, which seemed like a drudgery.
Speaking of the mRNA vaccine, the timing of the booster vaccination has been under debate due to the spread of the Omicron strain. Some say, “If the antibody titer drops, is it necessary to give additional doses every year, or is the vaccine useless?
Some people say, “If the antibody titer drops over time after vaccination, it is natural for the titer to drop over time. However, the body still has the memory of the new corona, so when the virus invades, the cells should be able to work. Antibody titer is like a missile. If you make them in advance, you can use them immediately when it is crucial. Even if that runs low, if we have the blueprint, we can make the missile when the enemy comes. So it’s not that there’s no point at all if you don’t take the third booster shot, but if you want to make sure you’re ready, take it. I’ll hit the booster if I get the chance. … But first of all, I’d like you to get a second dose of vaccination, even if it’s just before a drinking session.
I was able to shift from dealing with defeat to fighting aggressively.
There is a reason why Dr. Abe is promoting vaccination even by “opening a store on the third floor of the AEON in front of the station.
Until the vaccine was developed, what we in the medical profession were doing was ‘handling the war of attrition. We had no choice but to relieve the symptoms of infected people and make them better. There was no active treatment for the disease.
But vaccines can ‘prevent’ the disease. Vaccines can prevent infection, and if you do get infected, you can prevent it from becoming serious. Before vaccines, we had to wait for infected people to be accepted, but now, thanks to vaccines, we can actively intervene in the fight against the disease. So everyone is doing their best. The treatment of corona itself is not my specialty. So I’ve been focusing on prevention before that.”
As someone who has experienced the collapse of local medical care due to a cluster outbreak, I have strong feelings about the situation.
Another kind of medical care to deal with the aftereffects
Another problem is how to take care of those who are infected and have sequelae.
The other problem is how to take care of those who have sequelae. Symptoms vary widely, such as lethargy, loss of the sense of smell, and foggy thinking.
Outpatient clinics for coronary sequelae have been established in many places, and I think that palliative care medicine is effective in dealing with these symptoms. We palliative care doctors usually see people who have “incurable diseases. Although we can’t directly treat the symptoms of the aftereffects themselves, we can bring the sufferer closer to their current situation and make them feel better. In addition to preventing infection, we will need to focus on post-infection care in the future.
There are many best-selling anti-vaccine books in bookstores. However, the words of doctors on the front lines have a sense of urgency. Will there be a sixth wave? The situation continues to be unpredictable, but we can still get vaccinated, wash our hands, and wear masks. I want to do everything I can to protect myself.
The Ai Clinic, a center specializing in visiting medical care opened by Dr. Yasuyuki Abe, is located at https://aiclinic.life/. Dr. Yasuyuki Abe opened the Ai Clinic, a center specializing in home medical care, to protect the bodies and minds of patients receiving treatment at home. From a room in an apartment in Higashikagura-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido, he protects the bodies and minds of patients receiving medical treatment at home.
Reporting and writing： Kanako Wakui photo： Reuters/Afro