Local Govts Preparing to Give Booster Shots after 6-Month Interval

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 4 (Jiji Press)--Local governments in Japan are preparing to give third doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents as soon as six months after their second shots, amid growing fears about the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

While keeping the minimum interval before booster shots at eight months in principle, the Japanese government said in mid-November that it would allow local authorities to shorten the minimum interval to six months at their discretion.

Later in November, however, the national government said the six-month interval would be allowed only if infection clusters emerge at medical institutions and some other places.

The national government is now considering expanding the use of the six-month interval, in the face of criticism that starting earlier booster shots after infection clusters are found would be too late.

The use of the shorter booster shot interval "should definitely be expanded," Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters on Friday. The central government "should have in fact made the decision much earlier," Yoshimura added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press