PM Kishida says Japan to start 3rd COVID vaccine shots in December

Kyodo -- Oct 12
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday the government is planning to start administering third doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Japan in December and that it will shoulder the costs.

The health ministry decided last month to give booster shots to people who have gone at least eight months since receiving their second dose, citing studies that show antibodies that protect against the disease decrease over time.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (front) speaks during a House of Councillors plenary session in Tokyo on Oct. 12, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The vaccine rollout in Japan began in February among medical personnel before expanding to people aged 65 and older in the spring followed by those with underlying conditions and finally the general population.

"We will be making preparations based on the assumption that we will start it as early as December," Kishida told a Diet session.

Japan has been restoring social and economic activities to pre-pandemic levels since lifting a state of emergency covering Tokyo and 18 prefectures on Oct. 1 amid a steady decline in infections across the country.

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岸田総理は、新型コロナウイルスの3回目のワクチン接種について、早ければ12月からの開始に向け準備を進めるという考えを示しました。 - ANNnewsCH