Japan Govt mulls to lower minimum age for Covid vaccination

Japan's Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said that the country's state-run Covid-19 vaccination centres is considering lowering the minimum age for vaccination to 16 years old or younger from 18 amid the spread of the virus among younger people. The decision by the centres in Tokyo and Osaka, operated by the Self-Defense Forces, was prompted by more infection cases among young people due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19, according to reports by Xinhua news.

The Tokyo centre will reserve 500 slots per day for people aged 16 to 18, while the Osaka centre will reserve 250 slots. Reservations can be booked starting from October 3, with vaccination to begin on October 7. These slots, to be added to the current 10,000 and 5,000 slots available per day in Tokyo and Osaka, respectively, can also be allocated to reservations by those over 18 if there are vacancies. People aged 16 and older in the country will not need parental permission or companionship by parents or guardians to get the inoculation.

Due to a surge of Covid-19 cases among younger people, the Japanese government decided earlier this month to prolong the operation of the centres through late November which were previously scheduled to be shut down at the end of September.

Earlier,  the minister in charge of the vaccinations had said that Japanese government will consider allowing pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccines to speed up the country's slow inoculation process.

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