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Japan to reduce interval between 2nd, 3rd doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 6 months: Reports

2021 Nov 15, 18:52, Tokyo
An employee of beverage maker Suntory takes a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shot at their office building as the company began its workplace vaccination Monday, June 21, 2021, in Tokyo. Thousands of Japanese companies began distributing COVID-19 vaccines to workers and their families Monday in an employer-led drive reaching more than 13 million people that aims to rev up the nation's slow vaccine rollout. Photo: AP

The Japanese government intends to shorten the minimum interval between administering the second and the third doses of COVID-19 vaccine to six months, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Monday, citing sources.

Currently, the Japanese can be revaccinated against COVID-19 eight months after receiving the second dose, but, as noted by the media, local authorities will soon have an opportunity to reduce the gap by two months if necessary.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to start administering COVID-19 booster shots within the year, beginning with medical personnel, as noted in the report. The booster shots will reportedly be first available only to adults, while the coverage of children aged 12-17 will be given consideration by the health ministry.

The Japanese authorities plan to use exclusively messenger RNA vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna in its COVID-19 revaccination campaign, according to the report. To date, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare has approved only the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 booster shots.

So far, Japan has administered over 193 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, which means about 75 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. Over 78 per cent of the population has received at least one dose.


Japan Japanese government Kyodo covid-19 COVID vaccines Second Dose third Dose Interval Reduce Fumio Kishida booster shots Pfizer Moderna RNA Fully Vaccinated
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