Japan may start giving 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine this summer

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Vials of Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine

A fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for those who wish to receive it could be administered as early as this summer, with the government likely also planning to cover the costs.

The government has announced that the distribution of 128.2 million doses of vaccines, more than the necessary amount for all those eligible for the third dose, will be completed by the end of April.

As 44 million surplus doses from the first and second vaccination programs were used for the third dose, a senior health ministry official said, “We already have a good prospect for securing enough doses for all people wishing to receive the fourth shot.”

For the fourth dose, provided at least six months after the third shot, the government plans to use 71.3 million doses of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine to be imported within this year and 23.5 million doses of Moderna, Inc.’s vaccine that is planned to be procured in the first half of this year.