TOKYO — Taro Kono, the Japanese minister in charge of the vaccine rollout, promised Sunday a timely administering of booster shots for the coronavirus, as the nation aims to fully vaccinate its population by October or November.
He said Pfizer and Moderna booster shots will arrive early next year, in time for medical workers and the elderly, who were prioritized and mostly got their second shots by July.
“Japan is aiming for 80% vaccination levels,” Kono said on a nationally broadcast Fuji TV show.
A digital system for proof of vaccination will be available later this year, he added.
Japan has lagged among developed nations on vaccinations, with its fully vaccinated now at about 43%. Hospitals are getting swamped, and more than 118,000 people infected with the coronavirus are waiting at home, according to the health ministry. Japan has recorded about 15,800 COVID-related deaths.