Japan approves Pfizer’s BA.5 COVID-19 vaccine

TOKYO, October 6 (Kyodo) –
Japan’s health ministry on Wednesday granted special fast-track approval to U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.’s updated coronavirus vaccine tailored to protect against the now-prevalent BA.5 subvariant.

The ministry also approved the administration of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine targeting the original strain to children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years, making it the first available COVID-19 vaccine in Japan for the age group.

Pfizer applied in September for approval of its bivalent vaccine, which works against Omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants and earlier strains. The Japanese division of Moderna Inc. said on Wednesday that it had asked the ministry for a green light for such a vaccine.
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