TOKYO: Japan’s health ministry has notified the country’s 47 prefectures that a total of about 30 million doses of improved novel coronavirus vaccines targeting the omicron variant will be supplied nationwide from Sept. 19.
Of the total, some 28 million doses were manufactured by Pfizer Inc. and around two million doses by Moderna Inc. The bivalent vaccines, developed based on the BA.1 subvariant of the coronavirus, are now being screened by the ministry for approval.
The improved vaccines will be primarily used for fourth shots for elderly people and others. The number of people subject to the priority vaccination totals about 15 million, according to the ministry.
Roughly 11 million doses will be distributed each in the week from Sept. 19 and the week from Sept. 26, and about eight million doses in the week starting Oct. 3, ministry officials said.
The ministry plans to expand in mid-October the scope of people eligible for additional vaccinations using the improved COVID-19 vaccines to those aged 12 or over who have received two or more shots.