Japan Panel OKs Moderna Vaccine Use for 3rd Shots

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Tokyo, Dec. 15 (Jiji Press)--A health ministry panel Wednesday approved the use of U.S. biotechnology startup Moderna Inc.'s novel coronavirus vaccine for third shots in Japan.

The third shots will be available for people aged 18 or over. The amount of vaccine will be half the dose of the first and second shots.

The ministry is set to approve the vaccine for use in booster shots under fast-track procedures as early as Thursday, following Wednesday's decision by a subgroup of its Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council.

For booster shots, Japan allows a cross-vaccination with a different vaccine from the one used for the first two doses.

The government plans to move up the administration of third shots as much as possible regardless of the required interval of eight months from second shots in principle, by using the Moderna vaccine together with U.S. drug giant Pfizer Inc.'s vaccine, whose use as boosters has already been approved in Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press