Japan plans to roll out booster shots by the end of the year

Japan Times -- Sep 18
Before the end of the year, Japan could start giving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to people who are at least eight months removed from their second doses.

The health ministry on Friday discussed plans with experts on its vaccine subcommittee to provide booster shots as soon as the country has administered two doses to all willing recipients by the end of November.

With growing concerns over the ebbing impact of vaccine protection and what that might mean for any future waves of the virus, boosters could provide a solution, although whether or not they are needed remains the subject of debate among scientists. The World Health Organization has called for a “moratorium” on boosters until nations with low vaccination rates can inoculate more of their population.

Moderna Inc. announced Wednesday that a large-scale study showed the impact of its COVID-19 vaccine wanes over time. On Sept. 1, Moderna submitted an application to the United States Food and Drug Administration to seek authorization for COVID-19 booster shots.

Booster shot campaigns have already begun in other countries. Israel will be administering additional shots to individuals five months after they receive their second dose, while Americans could get a third dose eight months after their second if the country’s regulators give the plan the green light.