Only 30 Pct Receive COVID-19 Booster Vaccination in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 2 (Jiji Press)--Only 30.5 pct of 14.7 million people eligible for booster vaccination against the novel coronavirus in Japan had received their third shots as of the end of January.

Vaccines for 32.5 million doses have been supplied since the booster vaccination began in the country two months ago. Though the central government hopes to increase the pace, its frequent policy changes over the minimum interval between the second and third shots have made local government work to issue vaccination vouchers more complicated.

The central government approved the COVID-19 vaccines of U.S. drugmakers Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. for booster shots on condition that an interval of at least six months is placed between the second and third shots.

In December last year, the government shortened the minimum interval from eight months in principle to six months for medical workers and seven months for elderly people. Starting next month, the interval will be six months for elderly people and seven months for people aged 64 or below.

In the western prefecture of Ehime, nearly 80 pct of medical workers finished inoculations, but the overall vaccination rate among eligible people remains low at 22.1 pct.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press