Health ministry panel agrees on preparing to administer fourth doses of COVID vaccines

Japan Times -- Mar 24
Japan will start preparing to administer fourth doses of coronavirus vaccines, a health ministry subcommittee agreed Thursday, after the government said it would buy additional vaccine doses from two U.S. pharmaceutical companies.

The details, including whether to actually administer the additional booster shots and who would be eligible, will be determined later.

The agreement among subcommittee members came after the government said it had agreed to procure a total of 145 million vaccine doses from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. to prepare for the rollout of fourth shots.

The subcommittee also approved the administration of third shots of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children of ages between 12 and 17, with vaccinations expected to begin as early as next month.

Fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines are recommended in Israel and the U.K., with recipients limited to medical staff and individuals at high risk of developing severe symptoms.

The effectiveness of third shots against the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus has been found to wane over time. ...continue reading