Japan – Pfizer’s Vaccine approved for adolescents aged 12-15
The Japanese government approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for ages 12 to 15 on Monday, the media reported. Japan approved the Pfizer Covid vaccine dose for persons aged 16 and above in February and has agreements for enough shots for 97 million people.
According to the Japanese Kyodo news agency, this newly approved age group will not be getting the vaccine instantly as the country is still vaccinating medical staff and senior citizens. So far, an estimated 6% of the Japanese population has taken at least one shot of a vaccine, which is lower when compared to other developed nations.
Children aged 12 to 15 will not immediately begin getting the Pfizer vaccine, as Japan is still in the process of inoculating health care workers and people aged 65 and older. Only around 6 percent of the country’s population of 126 million has been given at least one dose, a much lower share than other developed nations.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has vowed to ramp up the effort, promising to fully vaccinate the elderly by July, when the Tokyo Olympics are set to begin. The panel at the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare also approved easing storage guidelines for the Pfizer vaccine, allowing doses to be refrigerated at 2 to 8 C for up to one month after being taken out of the freezer rather than five days.
The United States and the European Union earlier this month greenlit the vaccine for use in the age group, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration saying the “known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks.
Japan approved the Pfizer dose for persons aged 16 and above in February and has agreements for enough shots for 97 million people, while also entering supply deals with British drug maker AstraZeneca and US biotechnology firm Moderna, which have also passed the clinical test indicating its safe usage for age 12 and above.