Japan’s Kishida to People on COVID-19 Booster: ‘Prioritize Speed Over Vaccine Brand’

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida urged people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to get boosted once they receive their vaccination voucher, as Japan battles the sixth wave of the pandemic, driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant.

“As infections continue to spread, the most effective prevention method is a third shot of vaccine,” he said in a video message posted on the Twitter and Instagram accounts of the prime minister’s office on Wednesday.

“Please prioritize speed over the type of vaccine and get the third dose,” he stated.

Japan approved the use of Pfizer and Moderna novel coronavirus vaccines as booster shots at least six months after an individual aged 18 or older has received their second dose.

Local media reported that many people are skeptical of the mix-and-match inoculations resulting to a slow-paced booster vaccine rollout.

As of Thursday, Japan had given booster shots to 3.16 million people, a little over 20 percent of the national government’s target of 14.7 million by the end of the January. - Florenda Corpuz

(Article cover photo: The mass COVID-19 vaccination center in Tokyo’s Otemachi business district on July 30, 2021. Din Eugenio)