Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday said that the nation's inoculation drive will soon be expanded to include children aged under 12 years old as the country is facing the rampant spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Booster shots will also be offered to senior citizens at Self-Defense Forces-run mass vaccination centers that will be reopened, the prime minister said, in a bid to expedite the pace of the third shots being given to the elderly.
The government is currently rolling out a number of steps to try to counter the further spread of COVID-19, including the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.
On Tuesday, Kishida announced an entry ban on non-resident foreigners would be further extended until the end of February.
Prior to that, on Sunday, three prefectures grappling with surging COVID-19 cases spreading from U.S. military bases were placed under a quasi-state of emergency so local officials have more powers to apply antiviral measures.
The measures for Okinawa and parts of Yamaguchi and Hiroshima will be in place until Jan. 31.
According to official figures, there were more than 6,400 COVID-19 cases confirmed nationwide on Monday, following infections surging past 8,000 cases on Saturday and Sunday.