Pfizer applies for COVID-19 vaccine approval for 5-11 year olds in Japan

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FILE PHOTO: A medical worker fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, at Tokyo Medical Center in Tokyo, Japan February 17, 2021. Behrouz Mehri/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc has applied for approval from Japan’s health ministry to use COVID-19 vaccines on children aged 5 to 11, it said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine, developed in partnership with BioNTech, was the first COVID-19 vaccine approved for Japan’s general public in February. COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna and AstraZeneca have since been approved.

Pfizer’s vaccine is currently being offered to those aged 12 and above. If approved by the health ministry, it will be the first to be administered to children under 11 in Japan.

About 74% of the population is now fully vaccinated, according to broadcaster NHK, and the government is widely expected to start administering booster shots by year-end.