TOKYO: COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged between 6 months and 4 years old started in Japan on Tuesday as part of the government’s efforts to widen the range of people eligible to receive shots in the fight against the virus.
Local governments will start administering shots to such children as soon as they are ready. In Tokyo, vaccinations started Tuesday in Minato Ward. Some seven million doses are expected to be supplied across the country by late November.
The health ministry says that while vaccinations for such children are not compulsory, parents are obliged to make an effort to have their children vaccinated under the preventive vaccination law.
Such children will receive Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine that targets the original COVID-19 strain first found in Wuhan, China.
They will be vaccinated three times. The second shot will be given three weeks after the first, followed by the third eight weeks later. Each dose is one-10th the amount people aged 12 or older receive.
A clinical trial conducted during the spread of the omicron variant that the vaccine was 73.2 percent effective in preventing the development of symptoms, according to the health ministry.
While side effects such as a fever have been reported, children recovered after developing mild to moderate symptoms in most cases, according to the ministry.