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Minimum age lowered
Japan's health ministry has decided to lower the minimum age for the US-made Moderna vaccine from 18 to 12. In May, the ministry lowered the minimum age for the Pfizer vaccine from 16 to 12.
Efficacy and safety confirmed
When the Moderna vaccine was approved in May, the ministry set the minimum age at 18, partly due to a lack of data on efficacy and safety for people younger than that. Moderna later confirmed the vaccine to be safe and effective for people aged 12 to 17 during clinical trials in the United States. The firm then submitted the data to Japan's government via Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., which handles the nationwide distribution of the vaccine.
The ministry announced the new minimum age during an expert meeting on July 19. Municipalities across Japan are now authorized to administer the vaccine to people aged 12 to 17.
Other countries expected to follow
Moderna is also seeking to lower the minimum age in other countries. Screenings are underway in the United States and European Union nations. Recently the UK approved it for people aged 12 to 17.
This information is accurate as of Aug. 19, 2021.