The Japanese government is considering a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for those who want to receive it as early as this summer, a local newspaper reported on Friday.
Unidentified government officials Said The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Japan provides sufficient vaccines to individuals who wish to receive a fourth vaccination, given that the 44 million surplus doses from the first and second vaccination programs were used for the third vaccination. It states that it can be secured.
According to the report, the government will use the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and Moderna when it is confirmed that it plans to start a fourth dose that could be started by this summer.
Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto said he would confirm that Japan would have enough vaccines to give a fourth dose, but said the final decision would be based on scientific data and the response of other countries. , Japan Times report.
“When considering a fourth vaccination, the Ministry of Health will ensure that there is sufficient vaccine, but at this stage, maximizing that those who want to receive booster shots can get booster shots as soon as possible. I will make an effort, “says Goto.
Japan has never enforced mandatory immune requirements against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the new coronavirus.Explicitly the Ministry of Health website Said The vaccination is encouraged, but not compulsory.
The ministry said, “Vaccinations will only be given with the consent of the vaccinated person after the information provided,” urging them not to force or discriminate against unvaccinated people. did.
Several other countries, such as Israel, Belgium, Cambodia, Chile and Israel, have already deployed a fourth dose of the vaccine to high-risk, immunocompromised people. South Korea began taking a fourth dose to high-risk citizens in early February, but healthy people have not yet been encouraged to take it.
About 28% of the Japanese population is boosted and 79% are fully vaccinated. The government has agreed to purchase 93 million doses of Moderna vaccine and 130 million doses of Pfizer vaccine this year.
In addition, Japan has signed a contract to purchase 150 million Novavax Inc vaccines. It is currently under review by regulatory agencies and will be manufactured domestically by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
Shionogi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. of Japan is also developing a vaccine candidate, and released interim results this month showing that it is comparable to Pfizer’s shot in its effectiveness as a booster.
Reuters contributed to this report.