Did Japanese health ministry panels of experts add myocarditis to warning labels for COVID-19 vaccines? Yes, that's true, but they are not in "stark contrast" to the rest of the world. The addition of warnings about myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart) to the Pfizer and Moderna labels in Japan on December 3, 2021, put Japan in line with other global health authorities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added the possible side effects in revisions to its fact sheets for the vaccines in June 2021. The World Health Organization (WHO) first flagged myocarditis on May 26, 2021, and updated its warning on the vaccines on October 27, 2021.
The "stark contrast" claim appeared in a December 10, 2021, article published (archived here) on the Rise Align Ignite Reclaim (RAIR) Foundation USA website titled "Alert: Japan Places Myocarditis Warning on 'Vaccines' - Requires Informed Consent" It opens:
Japan announces that public and private sectors can not discriminate against those who refuse the experimental mRNA gene therapy injections.
Japan is now labeling Covid 'vaccines' to warn of dangerous and potentially deadly side effects such as myocarditis. In addition, the country is reaffirming its commitment to adverse event reporting requirements to ensure all possible side effects are documented.
These efforts from Japan's health authority are in stark contrast to the deceptive measures taken by other countries to coerce citizens into taking the injection, downplaying side effects, and discouraging proper adverse event reporting.
This is what the post looked like on the RAIR Foundation USA website on December 13, 2021:
(Source: The RAIR Foundation USA screenshot taken on Mon Dec 13 17:38:30 2021 UTC)
If anything, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has been slow to disclose possible side effects of the vaccines. The Ministry added myocarditis and pericarditis to warning labels for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines on December 3, 2021, but the possible side effects had been known for five months.
For example, the FDA updated its fact sheets for the two vaccines on June 25, 2021. The update came two days after the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that the benefits of COVID vaccination "clearly outweighed the risks of myocarditis after vaccination."
The RAIR Foundation says it advocates against "the threats from Islamic supremacists, radical leftists and their allies." Its article about Japan's labelling includes false claims that have already been debunked by Lead Stories, including that COVID vaccines are experimental and alter human DNA.
False claim: The COVID-19 vaccines are "experimental"
Neither vaccine is experimental. The Pfizer shot received emergency use authorization (EUA) on December 11, 2020, based on extensive clinical trials and was given full approval by the FDA on August 23, 2021. The Moderna vaccine was granted EUA on December 18, 2020, based on clinical trials on thousands of patients and Moderna has requested the technical shift to "authorization" based on successful and safe use of the vaccine by millions of people.
Claims that the mRNA vaccines are gene therapy are also false. The CDC addressed this claim in a vaccine fact sheet, saying the vaccines do not interact with human genomes "in any way." Doctors do not conduct gene therapy, defined as the modification of a person's genetic code to treat or cure disease, by injection of mRNA.
For a March 5, 2021, fact check addressing the same claim of DNA manipulation, Dr. James Lawler, who is board certified in infectious disease and works for Nebraska Medicine, explained to Lead Stories why the vaccines do not alter the function of DNA:
The mRNA vaccines don't make DNA. It (mRNA) is a distinct type of molecule that does not enter into the nucleus of the (human cell.) Your DNA is in the nucleus, its own walled off area. The mRNA from the vaccine remains in the cytoplasm. It gets turned into protein by your cells' own mechanisms. It is impossible for humans to turn RNA into DNA because we don't have the enzyme that is able to do that. Only certain retroviruses have the ability to turn RNA into DNA. That enzyme is not in the vaccine and is not part of the coronavirus.
Unlike RAIR's claim, Japan's efforts to report adverse events are not different than that of most nations, which RAIR says are "discouraging proper adverse event reporting." Nations like the United States, United Kingdom and members of the European Union operate wide-open adverse event reporting systems to capture early signals if unexpected dangerous side effects arise.
In the United States, it is known as the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Anyone with internet access can add a report to the VAERS list of reports. The public access link to it expressly warns against unwarranted conclusions based on VAERS material because the list only provides a tally of unverified notes about any health event people experience after they are vaccinated.
The RAIR Foundation USA identifies itself as:
a grassroots, activist and investigative organization comprised of everyday Americans leading a movement to reclaim our Republic from the network of individuals and organizations waging war on Americans, our constitution, our borders and our Judeo-Christian values.