Pfizer seeks Japan’s approval of vaccine for kids aged 5-11

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and German biomedical company BioNTech SE said Wednesday they have applied to Japan’s health ministry for approval of their COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.

The vaccine has been authorized for emergency use for the age group in the United States. In Japan, it is currently approved for those aged 12 or older.

Clinical trials overseas have found that the vaccine is some 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children aged 5-11 with a dosage one-third of the amount given to adults, according to Pfizer.

The vaccine is safe to use for the younger children and side effects among them are comparable with those among adults, the company said.

Children tend to be less affected by the novel coronavirus, but they are encouraged to get shots in the United States to prevent them from transmitting the virus to others.