Japanese government to give COVID-19 vaccine boosters six months after second dose

November 16, 2021
Japanese government to give COVID-19 vaccine boosters six months after second dose

Japan’s Health Ministry plans to administer booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines six months after an individual has received the second dose. Only messenger RNA vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc. or Moderna Inc. will be administered, regardless of the type of first and second doses received. The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only one approved by the Ministry for third shots.

[Sources report a six- to eight-month interval between second and third shots set by the Health Ministry, but local governments will be able to shorten the period by two months if they deem it necessary.]

Booster shots have proven to be effective in preventing the decline of vaccine protection which is seen to decrease with time. Individuals aged 18 and older will be eligible for the booster shots; and those with pre-existing conditions or working in high-risk professions are especially encouraged as well.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare are also considering expanding coverage to children between ages 12 and 17.

According to the government, more than 75% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated despite several bottlenecks – more than 78% having received at least one shot.

Read: Free COVID-19 vaccines planned for all Japanese; could prompt economic recovery by 2022

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