Pfizer vaccine to be approved for children 12+

Japan's health minister Tamura Norihisa says the government is expected to approve expanding the use of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for people aged 12 or older by the end of this month.

Japan currently allows people aged 16 or older to receive the vaccine developed by US firm Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. In the United States and elsewhere, those aged 12 or older can be given the shots.

Tamura told reporters that the ministry's panel of experts will discuss the matter on Friday.

He said the instructions for the vaccine will be revised as early as May 31 if its safety and efficacy are confirmed.

The minister added he will ask local governments to put the necessary systems in place so that children can be inoculated as soon as possible.