All national papers wrote that a Health Ministry taskforce on Wednesday approved on an emergency basis the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for booster shots, saying that third doses can be administered to people aged 18 or older at least eight months after receiving their second shots. The amount of vaccine in the booster shot will be half of that in the initial two doses. The Moderna product can also be used in people who received the Pfizer vaccine for their first two shots.
In a related development, Asahi and Yomiuri reported that the GOJ will allow certain people such as healthcare professionals, workers at elderly care facilities, and nursing home residents with underlying conditions to receive their booster shots six months after their second doses instead of eight months. Some 16 million people are likely to fall into this category. The GOJ has reportedly concluded that expediting the booster rollout is imperative to heading off the spread of the Omicron variant.