• Kyodo


Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. has applied with the health ministry for approval to use the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. for booster shots from February, company officials said Thursday.

Takeda, which is in charge of sales and distribution of the Moderna vaccine in Japan, on Wednesday submitted the application seeking the green light for the amount to be used and the method for administering it. Clinical trial data was also presented.

A government subcommittee of health experts will discuss the use of the vaccine as a booster shot in late December at the earliest, with Takeda planning to start administering the vaccine at workplaces from March.

In its clinical trial, Moderna gave 0.25 milliliters for a third dose — half the amount used for each of the first two shots — over six months after the second shot was administered.

The application came after a health ministry panel on Wednesday approved the administration of booster shots of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine to people age 18 and over, starting with medical personnel from December.

Following the panel’s approval, the ministry also gave the nod to the vaccine’s use as a booster shot on Thursday.

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