Japan approves COVID vaccine plan for age 5 to 11

NHK -- Jan 21
Japan's health ministry has approved a plan to expand its coronavirus vaccine rollout program to include children aged 5 to 11.

This follows an application filed by US pharmaceutical company Pfizer in November asking for permission to expand the use of its COVID-19 vaccine to the 5- to 11- age group.

The decision was made on Thursday at a ministry panel of experts who had been looking into the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer vaccine.

Such approval would be the first by Japanese authorities for inoculating children under 12 against the coronavirus.

Currently, Japan approves the use of the Pfizer vaccine and another by US drug maker Moderna for people aged 12 or older.

The use of a vaccine developed by British firm AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is limited in principle to people aged 40 or older.

The health ministry is urging municipal governments to prepare for the start of vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds as early as March.

It plans to convene a meeting of experts next Wednesday to work out the details of the expanded vaccine program.

厚労省で開かれた専門家らの審議会は、去年11月にファイザー社が薬事承認の申請を出していた5~11歳を対象としたワクチンについて、安全性や有効性が確認できたとして、使用することを了承しました。 - ANNnewsCH