Tokyo: The Japanese government approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 to 15, the media reported.
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.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has promised to speed up the effort and ensure complete vaccination of the elderly before the commencement of the Tokyo Olympics in July.
In a parallel development, Japan has approved the storage guidelines for the Pfizer vaccine that will allow for month-long storage at 2-8 degrees Celsius after removal from the freezer, instead of five days.
The US pharmaceutical company had advised that 12 to 15 year olds be made eligible after a successful clinical trial including 2,260 children revealed a 100% efficacy rate, with none developing any symptom except for 18 who were given a placebo.
Earlier in the month, the United States and the European Union approved this vaccine for use within this age group.