Japan to Shorten Booster Shot Intervals in March

Politics Society Health

Tokyo, Jan. 13 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will shorten the interval between second and third COVID-19 vaccine shots to six months from seven months for the general elderly population and to seven months from eight months for people aged 64 or under, starting in March, officials said Thursday.

“The need to move up the schedule for third shots is globally recognized” amid the spread of the omicron variant, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after meeting with health minister Shigeyuki Goto and Noriko Horiuchi, minister in charge of vaccine rollouts.

Goto said that municipalities will be able to shorten the interval to six months for people aged 64 or below when possible.

The accelerated booster program will cover about 100 million people in Japan, Horiuchi said. Some 85 million doses can be delivered to municipalities across the country by early April, she said.

Under the program, 18 million doses of Moderna Inc.'s vaccine, to be additionally provided to Japan under an accord struck in December, will be used.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press