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Article ID:0000268665Updated on:2022年8月22日更新印刷ページ表示

COVID-19: Vaccinations for Children Aged 5 to 11 (as of 8/19/2022)

On January 21, 2022, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 11.

Index

  1. General Information
  2. Eligibility
  3. Vaccine to be administered
  4. Vaccine effectiveness
  5. Vaccine safety (side effects)
  6. Vaccination Schedule
  7. Vaccination Venues

(1) General Information

We ask that parents/guardians decide whether or not to vaccinate their children upon understanding the risks and benefits of vaccination and discussing it with their children.

Please note that vaccination is not mandatory.

  • Only children who wish to be vaccinated, or whose parents wish them to be vaccinated, will receive their vaccine.
  • There are also those have been vaccinated early and those who have reasons why they cannot be vaccinated.
  • Do not force people to be vaccinated or discriminate against those who are unvaccinated. Discrimination toward the unvaccinated is strictly prohibited.

(2) Eligibility

Children aged 5 to 11 with resident records in Hiroshima City.

Important information for those turning 12 during their vaccination period

  • The vaccines used for 11-year-olds and 12-year-olds differ (even if they both receive the same Pfizer-made vaccine, the dosage and administration differ). As children will need to receive their second dose of the same vaccine three weeks after their first dose, please be sure to confirm the date of the second dose before making an appointment.
  • Eligibility for children’s vaccines will be decided based on their age when they receive their first dose (eligibility applies up to those who will turn 12 in two days). If a child who was 11 years old when they receive their first dose and will turn 12 before their second, they may receive a children’s vaccination for their second dose.
  • Children can wait until they turn 12 years to receive two doses of the vaccine designated for those 12 years or older. The vaccine used for these cases can either be Pfizer or Takeda/Moderna. They can also use the vaccine coupon and questionnaire received before they turned 12.

(3) Vaccine to be administered

The vaccine used will be Pfizer’s vaccine for children (see Note 1). Generally, two doses are given spaced three weeks apart (parent/guardian must be present during vaccination). If more than three weeks have passed since the first dose, please have your child receive their second dose as quickly as possible.

Note 1: contains one-third of the active ingredients found in the Pfizer vaccine for those 12 years or older.

(4) Vaccine effectiveness

The number of neutralizing antibodies (antibody value) found one month after the second dose of this vaccine was equivalent to those found one month after the second dose of Pfizer vaccines administered to those aged 16-25.

In addition, it has been reported that the percentage of those who developed symptoms of COVID-19 one week or more after their second dose was reduced by 90.7% compared to the unvaccinated.

Please note that this information became available prior to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

(5) Vaccine safety (side effects)

It has been reported that there are no major differences between adults and children in terms of post-vaccination side effects, including the types of side effects experienced and the instances of their occurrence.

During clinical trials, the most prevalent side effect found to occur within a few days of receiving the vaccine was pain at the injection site (first dose: 74%, second dose: 71%). Many people felt pain at the injection site the evening of the day they received their vaccine or the next day, rather than right after the vaccine was administered.

Side effects such as fatigue and fever were seen more after the second dose than the first. Fevers of 38°C and above were seen in 2.5% of those vaccinated for the first dose, and 6.5% of those vaccinated for the second dose. Most side effects were light to mild cases, and, from the information we have at current, we have not found any cause for grave concerns over the safety of the vaccine.

Type of side effect

Instances found

Pain at the injection site, fatigue

Over 50%

Headache, redness at the injection site, swelling, muscle pain, chills

10-50%

Diarrhea, fever, joint pain, vomiting

1-10%

Note to parents

  • In light of the fact that, compared to adults, side effects in children can sometimes take a larger toll on them mentally and physically, and sometimes they cannot properly express what they are feeling, parents/guardians (someone with parental custody or legal guardian) are required to accompany children when they receive their vaccination (see note below).
  • Please pay close attention to your child’s health in the days following their vaccination.
  • If your child displays the symptoms listed above, or if you notice any changes or abnormalities in their health, please contact their regular doctor.

Note: If parents/guardians cannot accompany their child for exceptional reasons, it is possible for an appropriate person (such as family member with an excellent knowledge of the child’s health) to be designated as a proxy by the guardian to accompany the child.

About myocarditis and pericarditis

While the cases are extremely rare, there have been reports from abroad of children developing mild cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) or pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside of the heart). In the United States, the reported percentage of cases in boys aged 5-11 was lower than those reported in boys aged 12-15 and 16-17. If your child experiences chest pains, fast-beating or fluttering heart, shortness of breath, or swelling about 1-4 days after receiving their vaccine, seek medical attention right away and let them know that your child has been vaccinated. Please note that should your child be diagnosed with myocarditis, hospitalization is generally required; however, most cases are resolved naturally with rest.

Relief System for Injury to Health with Vaccination based on the Immunization Act

Regarding any health problems which arise due to the vaccine, should these problems be certified by the national government, this system will provide relief for medical fees, disability pension, etc.

Related Information (Japanese)

(6) Vaccination schedule

Vaccination Coupon Mailing Schedule

The following details when vaccination coupons will be sent to children who will be turning five. Once their vaccination coupon arrives, they are eligible for vaccination.

  • Children with birthdays on the 1st to the 15th:
    Coupons will be mailed so as to arrive by the end of the month they turn five
  • Children with birthdays from the 16th to the end of the month:
    Coupons will be mailed so they arrive by the 15th of the month after they turn five

(7) Vaccination venues

Individual vaccinations

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