Thu, 24 Jun 2021

TOKYO, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Japan has started arranging to vaccinate adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 against COVID-19 as the number of infections rose among young people, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Tuesday.

Currently, a vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE, the only authorized product in Japan, has so far only been given to people at the age of 16 and older.

"If the efficacy and safety (for administering to adolescents) is confirmed, the guidelines will be amended" to enable the vaccination for adolescents under 16, Kato said.

According to health ministry officials, there will be significant benefit to inoculate those between 12 and 15 to reduce their infection risk as highly transmissible COVID-19 variants are spreading across the country.

Japan is currently battling a fourth wave of infections with the country's third state of emergency in effect in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures.

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