Driven by the possibility that the vaccine’s efficacy will decline over time and the need to respond to highly infectious variants of the virus, the government announced that it will continue the study while trying to ensure the supply of at least 200 million doses by 2022.
Tokyo will make a decision after considering the situation of Covid-19 infections in the country and assessing how other governments are dealing with booster inoculations against the disease.
The Japanese cabinet explained that, abroad, booster vaccines are already applied in countries such as Israel for people of 60 years and older; while Germany plans to provide the third doses for the elderly next September.
Sweden also decided to do the same, possibly by the Fall; and the UK is preparing to start its booster vaccination campaign in September.
Japan’s vaccination program was launched last February, initially for healthcare workers; later it was extended to the elderly in April and then to the remaining sectors of the population.