Tokyo [Japan], May 21 (ANI): The Japanese government on Friday gave the green signal for two more COVID-19 vaccines -- those developed by AstraZeneca and Moderna pharmaceutical giants -- to be added to the nation's vaccine portfolio, Kyodo news reported.
The experts has met on Thursday to assess data from Japan's own clinical trial in addition to those from overseas. They confirmed the efficacy of the two vaccines and today, the health minister could officially authorise them, according to NHK World.
People aged 18 or older are likely be eligible. But officials may later recommend a minimum age limit for the AstraZeneca vaccine because of the risk of rare blood clots. The EU drugs regulator published data that shows young people are more likely to develop them.
The Moderna vaccine is expected to be administered at large-scale vaccination sites, which are likely to be open in Tokyo and Osaka next Monday.
But the AstraZeneca vaccine will not be used in public inoculation programs for the time being because of rare blood clots. The health ministry plans to carefully decide what age groups can be given the AstraZeneca vaccine.
At present, only the Pfizer vaccine is in use as Japan's law requires clinical trials in the country.
Inoculations started in February for frontline workers before broadening to include senior citizens in April. Less than 5 per cent of Japan's population have received at least one dose, a far lower proportion than other G7 countries, it further reported.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, whose public support has fallen amid criticism over his pandemic response, has vowed to ramp up to 1 million shots a day and finish inoculating the elderly by the end of July, Xinhua reported.
In Japan, more than 5,700 new infections were reported on Thursday, as well as over 100 deaths. (ANI)