Fact Check: Has Japan approved Ivermectin as a Covid treatment?

Quick Take

A number of social media users are claiming the Japanese Ministry of Health had suspended Moderna vaccines from circulation in Japan, and that the country is officially using the drug Ivermectin to treat Covid-19.

The Claim

“Japan suspends Moderna injections after “metallic particles” found in vials and continues using Ivermectin to treat #COVID,” writes one of the social media users who shared an article talking about the country suspending Moderna vaccines.

Such posts can be seen here, here, and here.

Fact Check

What is Ivermectin?

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug used to treat worms and infections caused by worms. It is veterinary medicine, used to treat worm infections in horses but is also approved by the USFDA for the treatment of certain parasitic infections in humans.

Is Ivermectin effective against Covid-19?

Not yet proven. Research is underway (as of September 13, 2021)

Scientists have been studying the effectiveness of Ivermectin in treating Covid-19. One study notes that in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) Ivermectin has shown “notable reductions in COVID-19 fatalities.” The US Govt. Health website recognizes that Ivermectin can act on Covid-19 “by inhibiting the host importing alpha/beta-1 nuclear transport proteins.”

But despite its positive outcome in the early research, USFDA has still not approved the drug for its use against Covid-19 (as of September 13, 2021). More research is being called for the safety and efficacy of the drug against Covid-19.

Has Japan suspended the use of Moderna vaccine and using Ivermectin?

No. It is a claim used out of context.

Japan had earlier suspended the Moderna vaccine for few days in August as a precautionary measure after contamination in some vials. But it was a momentary snag in Japan’s vaccination program. The country reportedly has already vaccinated 60% of its population.

Has Japan approved Ivermectin for Covid treatment?

No. Not yet.

The drug is under clinical trial in the country and has also been recommended for use by some experts but the Japanese Govt. does not list Ivermectin as a suggested treatment for Covid-19 as of yet.

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