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Japan to make COVID-19 booster shots available to all eligible

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… approved making third COVID-19 vaccine booster shots available to all people who have gone at least eight months since receiving their second dose.

That will be next spring and summer for most of us.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

They should make it six months, not eight.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

Nuts to that. No more jabs for me.

-19 ( +20 / -39 )

If it keeps people out of hospital, the economy open and a possibility of no quarantine on return to Japan next Spring, then great. I'm in. Should be 6 months , yes, agree with @garypen.

6 ( +24 / -18 )

Only time will tell how effective or ineffective or how safe the vaccinations are.

If you want vaccine its your choice but don't treat others disrespectfully because they choose not to be vaccinated.

Some receive vaccine because their at risk of infection and some refuse vaccine because their at risk of anaphylaxis.

Then there are some that have to vaccinate to keep their jobs.

-14 ( +23 / -37 )

Sure. I'll take a 4th shot if gives me the freedom to travel and keep me out of hospital.

7 ( +24 / -17 )

Only time will tell how effective or ineffective or how safe the vaccinations are.

This is irrelevant, the importnat part is that we already know that vaccinating is much safer than not doing it, which is why recommending vaccines is the scientific and medical consensus.

If you want vaccine its your choice but don't treat others disrespectfully because they choose not to be vaccinated.

As long as unvaccinated people accept they will have limitations because of their irrational choice that is fine.

Also, People with valid medical exceptions are not "refusing" vaccines, they are unable to get them, and their protection will depend much more strongly on everybody else vaccinating.

Polio and Covid-19 are pretty much equivalent? 

In their importance for public health and lethal rates they are grossly equivalent, except of course because COVID has a higher fatality rate. Imaginary situations not based on the reality make for a very poor criticism.

0 ( +23 / -23 )

and some refuse vaccine because their at risk of anaphylaxis.

yes, I read all the time about the thousands of people who suffer anaphylaxis shock immediately after the vaccine. \s

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Mm. Your numbers don't add up @Burning Bush. 97.52 million people have had their first shot already. Adherence to turning up for the second shot is almost 100% here as the second shot number is in virtual lockstep now.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

It's interesting that although the studies the decision is based on say that the effectiveness of the vaccine lasts about 6 months, the booster jab is offered only after 8 months. Doesn't seem to make sense, as other countries do offer it after 6 months.

Other significant differences I have noticed when comparing to e.g. the UK, or Switzerland.

In Japan, the booster jab is essentially offered to anyone who wants it, once they've gone 8 months after the second.

In the UK, it's offered only to high risk groups and those over 50.

While in Switzerland it's offered only to high risk groups and those over 65, as they say that there is 'no evidence that the effectiveness of the vaccine diminishes with those in younger age groups'.

As ever, scientific evidence doesn't seem as conclusive as one would expect, leaving countries up to their own interpretations.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Probably will become annual @Ingvar. Look at what the scientists have achieved in such a short time already. Might even be combined with the flu shot? Who knows? You and I certainly don't.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

One thing to note, the data from multiple studies has consistently showed that regarding Pfizer and Moderna (since they are mostly used in Japan), both still offer very very strong protection against death and serious illness after 6 months, however, Pfizer's effectiveness against contracting the virus dwindles from about 90% to about 70% after 6 months, hence the need for a booster shot. Interestingly Moderna is still about 90% effective after 6 months, buts thats probably because the dosage given is over 3 times higher that Pfizer.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Probably will become annual @Ingvar. Look at what the scientists have achieved in such a short time already. Might even be combined with the flu shot? Who knows? You and I certainly don't.

Or maybe they'll be able to invent a vaccine that lasts permanently like the polio or smallpox vaccine. It may be one covid jab and you're good for life.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

In their importance for public health and lethal rates they are grossly equivalent,

Sometimes something is so utterly wrong and misinformed that it's almost impressive. The reason polio was given the fury of science and medical intervention was it's detriment to the youth. Especially during the period of massive economic growth in the US, allowing a disease that crippled children for life was not an option. Covid-19 is factually and statistically no where near as dangerous as polio was. Especially for children. Also, some children did die from the polio vaccine because of corners cut when producing enough doses to administer to all children. A history lesson to us that mass vaccination does have challenges that are worth considering.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Studies like the one published in The Lancet[1] (peer reviewed by now) show that effectiveness against infection with Delta dropped from 93%

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02183-8/fulltext

That's odd. The link you supplied says 73%, not 93% and no mention of the so-called Delta variant.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Hmmmm "annual" means once a year. One is going to have at least annual x 5 Covid shots in a full year.

Typical of some people to misrepresent numbers to suit their own agenda - yeah, let's include the very first year of the vaccine being rolled out to represent the the future rollout numbers. You have zero credibility.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Studies like the one published in The Lancet[1] (peer reviewed by now) show that effectiveness against infection with Delta dropped from 93%

As a matter of fact, reading more it specifically says "non-Delta".

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

So they need booster shots because the vaccines don't work!!??

0 ( +16 / -16 )

The problem is that it's more likely you'll be hospitalized due to the 4th shot than hospitalized due to Covid.

Again, making up things and pretending they are reality is not an argument, it just demonstrate you need to imagine things in order to criticize safe and effective measures because of irratinal beliefs.

And no, your understanding of the data on the effects of vaccines is completely wrong, it is not that the vaccines prevent problems on 90% of the population, but that they prevent 90% of the problems that would happen if that same population was not vaccinated. This is not that hard, reading a little would have prevented you from having this terribly wrong idea.

As ever, scientific evidence doesn't seem as conclusive as one would expect, leaving countries up to their own interpretations.

There is nothing wrong with the scientific evidence, regular people do not require the boosters, the problem is that countries act according to reasons apart from scientific. Experts have said that it is much better for rich countries to donate their booster vaccines to countries poorly vaccinated, because that would put the whole pandemic under control faster and would help preventing the appearance of variants (that may make all immunity to COVID ineffective) but still governments are choosing to booster indiscriminately just because it is much more popular between the voters. The "interpretations" are biased by economic and political factors.

Or maybe they'll be able to invent a vaccine that lasts permanently like the polio or smallpox vaccine. It may be one covid jab and you're good for life.

Even these vaccines could be, these would not the first vaccines that would require a booster many months after the first dose in order to provide long lasting protection. People like to misrepresent the situation as if endlessly falling immunity was the only way for things to go, but it is not.

 Covid-19 is factually and statistically no where near as dangerous as polio was.

And yet you failed to compare death rates, because they prove you completely wrong. That speaks very loudly about what is your real interest, and public health is not included.

Also, some children did die from the polio vaccine because of corners cut when producing enough doses to administer to all children.

Some children die because of every vaccine, medicine or treatment used on them, that does absolutely nothing to disprove that using those things reduce the risk for the children, which makes your point worthless. Having challenges is not the same as "better stop doing it until everything is perfect", at this point vaccinating is better than not doing it, even with the expected problems to happen.

So they need booster shots because the vaccines don't work!!??

No, because it is more popular. Vaccines work finely without boosters for the regular population but you would know that if you were actually intersted in the efficacy of the vaccines and not in irrationally rejecting science.

-6 ( +12 / -18 )

Effectiveness against delta-related hospital admissions over the entire study period was high, at 93% (84–96)

Ohhh I see. So it's not 93% effective against Covid infection but 93% against being hospitalized due to Covid..... Well that's quite different from what you stated, isn't it?

Before these dud concoctions 98% of people infected with Covid weren't hospitalized. Now we see it's down to 93%.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

The thing about these vaccine efficacy arguments is how do you know the people would have been hospitalized anyway if they weren't vaccinated? You would have to clone someone then vaccinate one and not the other and infect them with Covid then see what happens. Too many random variables on top of which the possibility that Delta is not as pathogenic as the alpha strain also has to be looked at.

A new cluster developing in a Sydney gym has been with all vaccinated patrons how can that be if the vaccine is so efficacious and they were only recently vaccinated???

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Regarding the 8 months interval - studies in Israel show that the efficacy is still OK-ish after this time. Not stellar, but not zero - could work for countries like Japan NOW, with almst no cases. Both Pfizer and Moderna recommend 6-12 months, so this would be towards the prudent choice.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Before these dud concoctions 98% of people infected with Covid weren't hospitalized. Now we see it's down to 93%.

Again, this is just false, the key word is "reduction", that means that the number of hospitalizations are reduced in a a 93%, (in your baseless numbers it would still mean that the 2% becomes 0.14%) is this clear enough now?

The thing about these vaccine efficacy arguments is how do you know the people would have been hospitalized anyway if they weren't vaccinated? 

That is precisely what science does, using well validated methods that have been proved to be precise to calculate things between two populations with controlled variants, and that is why scientific studies come with very detailed description of those methods, so anybody actually interested can know exactly "how do you know..." There is no need of cloning anybody, the experts are not talking about single individuals but populations that can be made sufficiently homogeneous by their numbers to make valid conclussions about it. You think those conclussions are not correct? then criticize it statistically, with actual objective arguments. Else you can only accept they are.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

No biggie, I have my flu shot once a year now I'm getting older and I don't view this any differently. If it also becomes an annual thing so be it.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Burning Bush  08:03 am JST

As it seems that a solid 30 million Japanese, most of whom are under 40, will never get the shot.

30 million Japanese choosing not to get vaccinated? Certainly, assuming the 8 million who have already had one shot as of today don't get a second. Assuming the millions of children from the ages of 5 to 11 don't get vaccinated once a shot is approved in Japan. Basically, a lot of bad assumptions.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

virusrexToday  09:01 am JST

> The thing about these vaccine efficacy arguments is how do you know the people would have been hospitalized anyway if they weren't vaccinated? 

That is precisely what science does, using well validated methods that have been proved to be precise to calculate things between two populations with controlled variants, and that is why scientific studies come with very detailed description of those methods, so anybody actually interested can know exactly "how do you know..." 

Science can't PROVE anything! It can support hypotheses which become theories then Laws until they are shown or supported to be otherwise. That is what peer reviews are all about. Sadly what seems to be happening here is that any peers who question the validity of the vaccinate at all costs mantra are attacked by their peers until they conform or are boxed into the looney "anti-vax" conspiracy theorist club.

Anti-vax...Pro-vax what stupid black and white names for a much more complex situation.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

NO

Insane

After 6 months immunity is still well over 50% up and vaccine effectiveness too, Why boost a population, under 65 not at risk. Most countries do not.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Considering how many hundreds of thousands of people have died from covid compared to a few dozen who died from side effects out of millions of vaccinations. it is stupid to say vaccine is dangerous. Every medication has side effect, crossing a road or driving a car or using public transport, living in New York is more dangerous than the vaccine. Therefore taking 3rd 4th 5th.....shot is not a problem as all side effects show up on the first/second shot if any.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

*Science can't PROVE anything! It can support hypotheses which become theories then Laws until they are shown or supported to be otherwise. *

Yes it can, that the whole point of it, you are making quite irrational assumptions, for example that proving something would mean this becomes immobable dogma. And also using terms in a completely mistaken way, peer review is not about contradicting previously published things, it just means checking if the methods and conclusions of a scientific report are valid or not. Once again, if you want to talk about something it is much better to read about it first, so you can understand it instead of just assuming you can guess things.

Sadly what seems to be happening here is that any peers who question the validity of the vaccinate at all costs mantra are attacked by their peers until they conform or are boxed into the looney "anti-vax" conspiracy theorist club.*

No, that is completely false, the people that are attacked are those that "criticize" using clearly mistaken arguments or false, manipulated data. And this is completely desirable, lying to "prove" a point is something that should always be rejected and specially in the scientific field, there are people lying about everything, the part that you are trying to hide is that antivaxxer propaganda consist almost exclusively about these kind of people, because those that actually examine the evidence and make valid conclusions are on the opposite side, supporting the use of vaccines.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

Line me up. I got two already, and didn't feel anything. I know people who died of covid. I'll take the former thanks.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

*Science can't PROVE anything!*

I found those who argue for a 6,000-year-old earth bring up the Karl Popper idea that we don’t prove anything right, but fail to prove it wrong.

Looking at the evidence leads us to assessments like ‘highly likely’.

I’m prepared to accept the link between gravity and hitting the ground after falling off a ladder. I can’t prove it.

Sadly what seems to be happening here is that any peers who question the validity of the vaccinate at all costs mantra are attacked by their peers until they conform or are boxed into the looney "anti-vax" conspiracy theorist club.

You’ve obviously looked into this yourself rather than parroting lines I’ve read countless times on this issue.

What do you think the majority of scientists looking into this have got wrong?

If you go for the ‘bought and paid for’ approach to this, there is no point taking the conversation further.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

The decision comes as overseas studies show antibodies 

Decisions are not based anymore on domestic trials and studies ?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Some children die because of every vaccine, medicine or treatment used on them

When people die from Covid, and people say, every time people die from diseases, everyone complains a lot: each death count, you say that as long as it is not your own relative...and so on....

But when people die from the vaccine, and also children, then it is no problem???

That is Ok and we should accept that?

Just to defend the vaccine?

Or as long as it is not your own children?

My goodness....

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Any appreciation for getting the shots in the first place?? Living in a country who handle Covid better then other countries??

I don't see it or hear it in this section.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Appreciation for shots? Why?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Bring it on.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

We wouldn't survive only with the booster rollout. It must go alongside reforms and reinforcements on emergency healthcare services about which I'm afraid some old-school doctors still show hesitation. They even resist in online diagnosis while opposing the downgrade of covid to seasonal endemic levels (so that all hospitals and pharmacies would be able to handle cases directly and immediately without consulting the public heath centres).

In the previous waves people suffered terribly despite relatively small number of cases, despite high bed & resource availability. The crisis was human-made, due mostly to bureaucratic red-tapes.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Any appreciation for getting the shots in the first place?? Living in a country who handle Covid better then other countries??

Japan did okay but some others did it better.

South Korea blew them out of the water if you look at their figures.

Anyway, I appreciated the free vaccines.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Fully vaccinated means 3 shots, not just 2.

no fully vaccinated means while the vaccines is still effective in the body,

flu vaccine is a yearly shot as that is the period it keeps the immune system strong against the virus,

if covid shot is a 8 monthly shot then thats what itll be , but as they tweek it over the coming years it may turn into a yearly shot.

follow the real science people not the pseudoscience you find with the talking heads

1 ( +10 / -9 )

@Kyo-wa-heiwa-dayo-ne

Anaphylaxix, or fear of it is not a reason for avoiding any vaccination. Anaphylaxis is completely manageable with administration of medicine, on the spot.

The thing is explain your fear at the clinic where you receive your inoculation. Confirm they have the medicine to treat anaphylaxix, and stay near the clinic as directed to make sure no anaphylaxix reaction sets in before you go on your merry way.

It is dangerous to be ruled by fear.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Saying that something should be avoided because some people might die

like saying you cant go outside as you might be struck by lightning,

or dont cross the rd in busy traffic as you might get run over.

while the prior is almost statically insignificant, the other holds much higher risk and should be avoided whenever possible

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Fully vaccinated means 3 shots, not just 2.

Not to cross any border and avoid quarantine it doesn't.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

with the vaccines' effectiveness lasting around six months.

That is an egregious misstatement. Antibody levels are elevated in the months after vaccination, but decline over time, as they should. However, T cells and B cells that "remember" the initial infection, can be quickly called into action to produce antibodies again. Sure, breakthrough infections will be more common, but the original effect of the vaccine will mean that a healthy person who got the vaccine will not be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. This protection will last well into the future.

To say that vaccines are no longer effective after 6 months is completely wrong.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yes, agreed, it has to start already latest after six months, not eight, and for all people and age groups who are willingly and have no other bigger medical contradicting issues. In addition, the best boosting effect comes by now mixing the vaccines, compared to the first one or two vaccinations. The reboosting multiplicative effect of the binding and neutralizing antibody assays very much differs. Some comparison data for your records and personal decision. From Pfizer to Moderna, once more Pfizer, Johnson&Johnson, 17.3 , 14.9 , 6.2 fold; from M. to Pf., M. again, J&J , 9.7 , 7.9 , 4.7 fold respectively, last but not least, from J&J to Pf., M., J&J again, the values are 56.1 , 32.8 and 4.6 fold. It’s then of course still a personal decision, if going only for the best or higher values or also considerations and weighing with the other known risks for women under 60 or young men, regarding blood clothing or heart inflammatories.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

T cells and B cells that "remember" the initial infection

Are you sure about this?

Best way, unless you have underlying conditions, is to get natural immunity. Guaranteed your cells will remember everything thrown at them.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

@livvy

Personally iam not living in fear of anything.

As i said earlier to rex my comment was in response to a previous commenters comment that was erased and part of my original comment was edited .

So unfortunately you're responding to something that's bin edited.

And in actual fact your misinformed because people do die of anaphylaxis even after receiving your so called medications or cures.

You can't generalize and pretend to know how everyone else's body will react to the vaccine or allergy medications.

Obviously its not possible to know.

People like to think they know based on limited assumptions.

What science proves and disproves is an ongoing process.

Can't debate that either.

I you choose to get vaccinated or not or get out of bed in the morning personally i dont care.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

some people rely on vaccine and some people don't.

Each to their own.

But don't try to force it

4 ( +9 / -5 )

People seem really upset the vaccine they need to keep taking.

Everyone convinced how well it works but need more.

Something wrong with using natural medicine instead of vaccine ?

3 ( +10 / -7 )

noriahojanenToday 10:44 am JST

We wouldn't survive only with the booster rollout.

In the previous waves people suffered terribly despite relatively small number of cases, despite high bed & resource availability. The crisis was human-made, due mostly to bureaucratic red-tapes.

In that case, politics should fix their mistakes, those bureaucratic red-tapes, rather than pushing for a booster without any self-reflection, and in the first place, improve the medical system.

For over 1 year, beds available for covid all over the country have been kept low, not really increased as it should since last year, and many private hospitals have been running as usual. Only some designated public hospitals were overloaded

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Or maybe they'll be able to invent a vaccine that lasts permanently like the polio or smallpox vaccine. It may be one covid jab and you're good for life."

If that eventuates, I'll be more likely to take it. Rather than jabs I'm required to take every 6 months - with health effects unknown.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Best way, unless you have underlying conditions, is to get natural immunity. Guaranteed your cells will remember everything thrown at them.

The best way to avoid getting sick is to get sick.

Genius.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

If that eventuates, I'll be more likely to take it. Rather than jabs I'm required to take every 6 months - with health effects unknown.

I think we all would prefer that, and I believe that in near future they will come up with one. However, for now, it looks like we are stuck with boosters for better or worse.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Kudos and nine bows to: KniknaknokkaerToday  09:01 am JST

No biggie, I have my flu shot once a year now I'm getting older and I don't view this any differently. If it also becomes an annual thing so be it.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

As with anything there's more than one way to solve a problem.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The twaddle by individuals who are engaged in parlor games is beyond drivel, utterly nonsensical, ignores reality and certainly science. That it has to be asserted again and again that the vaccines are proven to be highly effective - simply illustrates a gross ignorance and construction of a false reality which is simply an indication of a damaged psyche or some bizarre ideology wedded to a bent politics.

The vaccines are highly effective. Deaths due to vaccination are almost nil. Reactions are of a temporary duration. Booster shots are all to he good and not unusual.

Individuals who purposefully refuse to be inoculated due to some bogus reasoning or queer politics (which has naught to do with anything, it is just a bell on a cat's tail) need to live with the consequences and be isolated in terms of shared access to commonly held utilities particular to the common good.

To declare it 'a right' not to be vaccinated is not only absurdist, it has naught to do with any form of constitutionally declared liberty and freedom, let alone established right - it is simply an empty trope which is basely selfish & narcissistic and indicative of a mental disorder. Such individuals are a danger to the community. Vaccination should be mandated.

Refusing to be inoculated & immunized is similar to refusing to stop at red lights as an impingement on personal choice.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

@Richard Gallagher: Sir, I doff my cap.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Our local vaccination center's car park is full 7 days a week from 9 to 6. So there are plenty of people getting vaccinated every day, no matter what antivaxxers keep inventing...

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

What kind of "vaccination" needs continuous eternal "boosters"? This is ridiculous.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Refusing to be inoculated & immunized is similar to refusing to stop at red lights as an impingement on personal choice.

And both can have similarly disastrous outcomes, for oneself and to others.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Sanjinosebleed

Anti-vax...Pro-vax what stupid black and white names for a much more complex situation.

Exactlty. Most (actually all, coming to think of it) of the medical experts critical of the mass mRNA/viral vector vaccinations that I have read are not "against vaccines" at all, in fact the opposite. They are just critical of the current unproven products and/or the way the mass vaccination is handled.

Slapping this "anti-vaxxer" label on them is so misleading and simplistic, it just shows that some parties only want stifle open debate (ironically often in the name of "science" while this is actually the opposite.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

What kind of "vaccination" needs continuous eternal "boosters"? This is ridiculous.

Yeah cause 3 is almost an infinite number.

oh and to answer your question:

Hepatitis B : 3 doses

Measles, mumps : 2

Diphtheria, tetanus : 5

poliovirus : 4

3 ( +9 / -6 )

That it has to be asserted again and again that the vaccines are proven to be highly effective

Yeah, they appear to be effective at decreasing symptoms for a few months, but they wane, hence the need for boosters. And they also come with risks, as evidence by VAERS and similar systems in Canada and Europe.

But when assessing the vaccine's effectiveness, they look at broad populations that include a range of health status. If someone is perfectly healthy and follows certain steps to improve their immune system, then the vaccines have limited effect but still retain much of their risks...

simply illustrates a gross ignorance and construction of a false reality which is simply an indication of a damaged psyche or some bizarre ideology wedded to a bent politics.

Or perhaps it illustrates that some of us have the ability to understand the complexity of this issue, that not everyone is equally unhealthy and that these vaccines are not like other vaccines...

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

eight months since receiving their second dose, 

and 8 months is more than a few, either way that's 8 months to see how things go.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My 3rd shot will be in April, I will definitely be getting it!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

ZaphodToday  03:03 pm JST

What kind of "vaccination" needs continuous eternal "boosters"? This is ridiculous.

It is obvious that you do not understand or do not want to understand how immune system works...

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

"My 3rd shot will be in April, I will definitely be getting it!"

And your fourth, fifth, infinitum...

"Tetanus. Cholera. Zika." An issue for third world countries, but not first world as much.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

"Fully vaccinated means two shots."

For Israel, it now means three.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

"However, for now, it looks like we are stuck with boosters for better or worse."

Until a more permanent solution is found, I'm good.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

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