Tokyo [Japan], December 6 (ANI): Japan to lessen the present vaccine interval of eight months between the second and third COVID-19 vaccine shots, in the wake of rising Omicron scare.
Japan will condense the prevailing gap of eight months between the second and third dose 'whenever possible' to curb the spread of surging COVID-19 variant- Omicron cases in the country, a senior government official stated on Sunday, reported Kyodo News.
The Japanese government is working with the local governments to further shorten the vaccination gap to six months from the existing interval of eight months, revealed Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara while speaking on a Fuji TV program.
The minimization of vaccine gap to at least six months will be "based on their capacity," with Moderna Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine eyed for approval for use as a booster, reported Kyodo News.
Reportedly confusion was caused among the people in Japan concerning the right vaccine gap for the booster shot. The Japanese government had previously set an eight months gap, which was later reduced to six but then restored to eight months.
The country recently commenced administering third doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE to health care professionals maintaining the gap of eight months, reported Kyodo News.
Pfizer is the only approved vaccine in Japan that can be used as a booster jab. However, the Japanese government revealed that it is possible to have a booster jab of a different brand and the two vaccine doses of another.
"We are bringing forward booster shots based on the assumption that the vaccines are effective against the Omicron strain. We expect that there will be some elderly who want to quickly get their vaccine booster with Moderna," reported Kyodo News citing government sources.
Japan health minister Shigeyuki Goto stated that there "are no problems with supply" and revealed that the government "would consider how to administer the shots in order to avoid confusion." (ANI)