Japan to Move Up COVID-19 Vaccine 3rd Shots for General Public

Tokyo – The Japanese government will move up the administration of third shots of novel coronavirus vaccines to citizens other than medical workers and elderly people in the fight against the omicron virus variant, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters at the prime minister’s office, Kishida said the government also aims to start COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible for people aged 11 or younger, who are not currently eligible for the inoculation program in Japan.

On Japan’s tightened border control measures, Kishida said the government will keep in place until the end of February the current framework of prohibiting new entries by foreign nationals in principle. But Japan will scrap its ban on re-entries from 11 southern African nations, he said.

At a news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno suggested that the government will review the ban on new entries by foreign students hoping to study in Japan.

On booster vaccine shots, Kishida said, “In March and later, we will bring forward vaccination schedules for the general public by using the additional 18 million doses of the vaccine made by U.S. biotechnology startup Moderna Inc.”