Society | Sep 14

Japan to start Omicron targeted vaccinations next week

Japan's health ministry says coronavirus vaccinations that target Omicron variants will start next week. The vaccines will be categorized as public inoculations so people can get them for free.

The health ministry says it plans to have everyone who wants the vaccines to be inoculated by the end of December, to prepare for a possible surge in infections during the year-end and New Year holiday season.

A ministry expert panel approved a policy on Wednesday to start free inoculations using so-called bivalent vaccines made by US drug makers Pfizer and Moderna.

Those eligible will be people aged 12 or older who received their first two shots at least five months earlier.

Elderly people and healthcare workers will be among the first to receive the booster in a campaign set to kick off next Tuesday. The program will be expanded to others by mid-October.

The Omicron-targeting vaccines will be administered as fourth shots for the many people in Japan who have received three so far. It will also be used as third or fifth jabs for people at those stages.

The health ministry says the vaccines are likely to be more effective than conventional types at preventing severe symptoms of Omicron variant infections.

It also says the vaccines should prevent infections and stop infected people from exhibiting symptoms, though their efficacy may be short-lived.

Source: ANNnewsCH


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