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Japan will start discussing as early as next week whether to administer third coronavirus vaccine shots, potentially by the end of the year, amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.

Health experts on a government subcommittee on the coronavirus vaccine are expected to take up the matter, as well as the possibility of combining doses of vaccines produced by different manufacturers, the sources said. Three COVID-19 vaccines — those developed by Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca PLC — are currently available in Japan. All are administered in two doses.

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