Japan to expand COVID-19 inoculation to kids under 12 from February
Written by tokyoclub on November 17, 2021
TOKYO, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) — Japan’s health ministry said on Wednesday that the COVID-19 vaccination program is likely to be expanded to children under 12 years old in February next year at the earliest.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare notified municipalities across the country to begin preparation for the vaccination program of kids aged between 5 to 11.
Medical institutions responsible for the program should fully explain the effectiveness and safety of vaccines to children and their parents or guardians, and obtain their consent, according to the ministry.
Those institutions also need to provide proper initial treatment on the occasion when people being inoculated develops side effects, the ministry said.
The vaccination program would start if it receives permit from the government, as a ministry panel is discussing whether the age group should be inoculated.
Last week, U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer submitted an application of inoculating kids at 5 to 11 years old with the vaccine jointly developed with its German partner BioNTech.
Currently, the government has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and U.S. drug maker Moderna vaccine for people aged 12 or older, while the vaccine developed by British firm AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is limited to be used for people aged 18 or older.