Japan offers COVID-19 shots to children aged 6 months to 4 yrs

An employee sits next to signboards showing the location of a Pfizer coronavirus vaccination center at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Tokyo on July 15, 2021. (BEHROUZ MEHRI / AFP)

TOKYO / CANBERRA / YANGON / MANILA / SINGAPORE / HANOI – Japan began COVID-19 vaccination for children aged between six months and four years on Tuesday at a hospital in Tokyo.

Japan's health ministry started to distribute the vaccines to municipalities on Monday. Inoculations are set to follow in other places of the country when the local governments are ready.

The vaccines targeting the original strain will be administered over three shots for the young children, each containing one-tenth of the dose given to adults.

The first two shots must be administered three weeks apart, while a third dose will be given at least eight weeks after the second inoculation.

The health ministry approved the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month, making it the first COVID-19 vaccine available in Japan for that age group.

The move expanded the eligibility criteria for COVID-19 vaccination to almost all age groups. In February, Japan expanded the vaccination program to include children aged 5 to 11.

A health worker speaks to arrivals at a COVID-19 vaccination hub at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane on Aug 17, 2021. (PATRICK HAMILTON / AFP)


A new Australian study will examine the impacts the coronavirus pandemic have had on young families.

The study, to be undertaken by researchers from Australian National University (ANU), will focus on the partners of women who were pregnant or gave birth between November 2019 and December 2020.

It follows the research team's Mother and Child 2020 (MC2020) study, which focused on how the COVID-19 impacted pregnant mothers and their babies.

Amy Dawel, a co-leader of the study from the ANU Research School of Psychology, said there has been little research done into the health and wellbeing of partners of new mothers in times of crisis.

Participants in the survey will be asked about their wellbeing, their experiences of parenthood and the impacts on their relationship.

Previous studies have proven that extreme events including pandemics impact pregnancy outcomes, child development and family wellbeing.

However, the ANU team said until now research has not followed families beyond the crisis.

They have encouraged the partners of the MC2020 mothers to participate in the new research in order to gather a complete picture of the impacts.

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Workers unload cases with 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Chinese government at Yangon International Airport, Myanmar, on Sept 9. (MIAO JUESUO / XINHUA)


Myanmar confirmed 160 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 630,902, according to the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.

The ministry said in a statement that health authorities tested 10,171 people for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, and the daily positivity rate was 1.57 percent.

The death toll from COVID-19 in the country rose to 19,478 on Tuesday after one new death was reported in the past 24 hours, the ministry said.

A man shops for face masks in Divisoria, a local shopping district in Manila on May 17, 2022. (JAM STA ROSA / AFP)


The Philippines reported 943 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,996,818.

The Department of Health said the number of active cases dropped to 21,924, while 32 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, raising the country's death toll to 63,846.

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A notice warning people not to gather in groups larger than five persons as part of restrictions to hald the spread of the coronavirus is displayed at Raffles Place financial business district in Singapore on Jan 4, 2022. (ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP)


Singapore reported 2,994 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the country's total tally to 2,070,784.

Of the new cases, 266 were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 2,728 through ARTs (antigen rapid test), according to statistics released by the country's Ministry of Health.

Among the PCR cases, 262 were local transmissions and four were imported cases. Among the ART cases with mild symptoms and assessed to be of low risk, there were 2,558 local transmissions and 170 imported cases.

Three more deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday, taking the total death toll to 1,666.

Passengers wait for transportation outside the arrival hall of Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 15, 2022, as Vietnam announced the return of a visa exemption policy for 13 countries in an effort to kickstart its tourism sector. (NHAC NGUYEN / AFP)


Vietnam recorded 514 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, down by 32 from Monday, according to the country's ministry of health.

All the new cases were locally transmitted, said the ministry.

The newly reported infections brought the total tally to 11,498,047. The country reported no new deaths from the pandemic on Tuesday, with the total fatalities staying at 43,161.