WORLD Japan may continue tough border restrictions, move up 3rd vaccination shots

WORLD

Japan may continue tough border restrictions, move up 3rd vaccination shots

China Daily

16:48, December 17, 2021

People walk by Christmas decorations on the first day of Japan's closed borders to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, in Tokyo, on Nov 30, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO -- The Japanese government may continue its tough border restrictions next month and a plan to promote the third vaccination shot due to fears over the global spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, local media reported Friday.

The government was striving to gather epidemiological knowledge about the Omicron variant but have yet to fully grasp the situation so far, a government official told a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Friday, adding that the government has to brace for the possible spread of infections.

The official said the government would step up monitoring of the Omicron variant by conducting more PCR tests and genomic analysis while indicating that maintaining the current border restrictions next month and beyond might be an option.

In addition, Japan is looking to move up the third vaccination shot by revising the planned eight-month interval between the second shot and boosters amid the Omicron variant fears.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday asked Pfizer Inc to bring forward Japan's contracted supply of COVID-19 vaccine. Japan's health ministry on Thursday also offered fast-track approval for the Moderna vaccine to be used in booster shots.

According to the government's announcement in November, it plans to supply 24 million Pfizer vaccine doses and 17 million US biotechnology firm Moderna Inc's vaccine doses to local governments by February.

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