Japan to Move Up 3rd COVID-19 Vaccine Shots Where Possible

Politics Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 5 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will shorten the required interval between second and third shots of novel coronavirus vaccines where possible, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said Sunday.

"We will bring forward (third shots) where possible while considering the capacity of local governments," Kihara said on a television program.

In Japan, third COVID-19 vaccine shots need to wait at least eight months after second shots in principle. The interval can be shortened to six months only if an infection cluster hits medical institutions or elderly care facilities.

The government is believed to allow more exceptions to the eight-month principle due to the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

On concerns that bringing forward third shots may cause a shortage of vaccine supplies, Kihara said the government will add the vaccine made by U.S. biotechnology startup Moderna Inc. to the booster shot program if the vaccine is approved for such use and can be used for mix-and-match inoculations together with the vaccine of U.S. drug giant Pfizer Inc.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press