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Japan begins consultations on mixing COVID-19 vaccine brands ahead third dose rollout

By News Desk

Following the death of two persons after receiving COVID-19 vaccine jab, the Japanese Government has commenced consultation on the possibilities of mixing shots of AstraZeneca and other vaccine produced other firms for its citizens ahead of the third dose rollout.

The move for the mixture of vaccines developed by different drugmakers was considered by the government during consultations on strategies that could further speed up its third rollout.

Speaking on the plan on Sunday, the minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, Taro Kono, stressed that the move was to help ease supply concerns and accelerate the country’s inoculation program.

“We can expect an acceleration in vaccinations if we gain approval. We have already secured the necessary quantities for a booster shot rollout”, Kono said.

Japan has mostly used COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc. or Moderna Inc. for its inoculation program. AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine, manufactured in Japan under license, was approved in July for use in people aged 40 or older.

As of last week, 43.5 percent of the country’s population had received two doses, and the administration of a third vaccine shot was already under consideration in response to reduced efficacy and breakthrough infection cases among fully vaccinated people.

Kono said this could be started for health care workers in October at the earliest and for people aged 65 or older in January or February once authorized.

The plan was announced 24 hours after the government confirmed that no fewer than two persons died that were already administered with the second jab of Covid-19 vaccine brand, Moderna, by health experts in the country.

The two persons were discovered by health experts to have been administered brands of the vaccines that were already contaminated before their arrival into the country.

As gathered, the deceased people, both men in their 30s, passed on within days of getting inoculated with the second dose of Moderna vaccines.

Close associates to the deceased narrated that both had a fever the day after receiving the second dose and died two days later following the fever.

Following the development, the Japanese government has put the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine brand on hold to avoid further deaths across the country.

The two men, it was learnt, had received a shot from one of the three manufacturing lots of the coronavirus vaccines that were suspended. Their deaths are being probed.

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