What to consider about vaccinating young children (ages 5-11)
There is no obligation to make efforts to vaccinate young children (ages 5-11) (as of February 21, 2022)
It is the view of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare that the "duty to endeavor to receive vaccination" described in the Immunization Act does not apply to vaccinating young children (ages 5-11) against COVID-19.
*The "duty to endeavor to receive vaccination" in the Immunization Act stipulates that individuals must make an effort to receive a vaccination, but does not require individuals to get vaccinated.
Efficacy of vaccinations for young children (ages 5-11)
Based on the results of clinical trials conducted on children ages 5-11 in the United States,
the concentration of antibodies was shown to increase to the same degree as in vaccine recipients ages 16-25, so the vaccine can be considered effective. In addition, based on an analysis the concentration of antibodies that neutralize the coronavirus, it was reported that the vaccine provided 90.7% efficacy among subjects who had never contracted COVID-19 in preventing the onset of symptoms seven days or more after they had received the second round of vaccine.
However, it is important to note that this data is from before the Omicron variant began to spread.
From what we can currently tell about the Omicron variant from the results of US studies, a certain degree of effectiveness in preventing infection can be expected. Reports suggest that the Pfizer vaccine shows 31% effectiveness against COVID-19 in children ages 5 to 11 for 14-82 days after their second vaccination, and 59% effectiveness in children ages 12-15 for 14-149 days after their second vaccination. Also, efficacy in preventing both the onset of symptoms and hospitalizations among adults has been confirmed, and we can expect the same efficacy among children in the 5-11 age range.
When new information is reported it will be shared here.
See the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website（外部サイト） for a FAQ about the COVID-19 vaccines and the efficacy among young children ages 5-11（外部サイト） (Japanese)
General FAQs（外部サイト） (English)
Overview of vaccinations for young children (ages 5-11)
Residents 5 years old to 11 years old.
Guardian’s consent and presence is required for young children to get the vaccine
Guardians are asked to ensure they are familiar with accurate information related to both the vaccines’ efficacy and risks and to discuss vaccination with their child before they make the decision to vaccinate their child. Vaccinations will not be administered without the guardian’s consent. Forcing people around you to be vaccinated or showing discriminatory treatment to those who have not been vaccinated is unacceptable.
Through September 30, 2023 (planned)
Vaccines used and intervals between doses
Two shots are required to complete the first vaccination.
Vaccines used and waiting period between shots
|Vaccine||Waiting period between 1st and 2nd dose|
|Pfizer for children ages 5 to 11 years old (Comirnaty for 5 to 11 years old)||3 weeks|
*Residents 12 and older use a different vaccine, along with different directions and dosage.
*Generally, other vaccines cannot be administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine or other vaccines can be administered if a period of two weeks has passed after receiving one or the other. (Exception: shots for a tetanus toxoid if necessary to treat an injury, or other emergency situations.)
Vaccinations will be administered using public funds, and are free of charge for everyone.
*However, there is a possibility you will have to pay for doctor fees if you visit a clinic before or after the vaccination.
Potential side effects after getting the shot (side reactions)
Symptoms that may occur (in more than 5% of vaccine recipients)
- Pain, redness, red patches, or swelling in the area around where the shot was received
- Fatigue, chills, fever
- Muscle or joint pain
*Pain may occur around the area where the vaccine was received on the same day and for about two days afterwards.
Severe symptoms that may occur (infrequently)
Immediate symptoms (shock; anaphylaxis)
- Skin itch, hives, red spots, or other reddening of the skin
- Vision disorder
- Going pale, muddled thinking
- Stomachache, nausea
- Hoarse voice, sneezing, itchy throat, difficulty breathing, etc.
Symptoms that may appear later (myocarditis, pericarditis)
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Difficulty breathing
- Labored or rapid breathing
*Symptoms like myocarditis and pericarditis (inflammation in the cavity around the lungs or heart) are expected to appear within four days of getting the vaccine, if they appear at all. It is recommended you immediately visit a medical facility for an examination if any of these symptoms appear.
*Results of US analytical research suggest that the incidence of pericarditis is lower in boys age 5 to 11 years old than boys aged 12-15 or 16-17 after getting the vaccine.
Due to anxiety or the stress related to pain, some people may experience a “vasovagal reflex” and lose consciousness.
If they have confirmed symptoms of dizziness, nausea, or sweating, without panicking, support their body so they do not hit their head, and help them lie down in a restful position.
[Source: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare – explanatory session for municipalities]
Call center for inquiries about side effects (Kanagawa-ken COVID-19 Side Reactions Consultation Call Center)
045-285-0719（open 24h hours）
*Guidance in languages other than Japanese also available
Side effects that continually persist after getting the shot or for specific issues that warrant informed medical consultation.
(Introductions to individual health care facilities are not provided. If you wish to be examined, consult your regular physician or the facility where you got the vaccine.)
Children turning 12 before they are vaccinated (currently 11 years old)
Depending on the timing of the vaccination, different vaccines may be used.
- Children who were 11 when they received their first dose and who turned 12 before the second dose will be given the vaccine designed for children.
- Children who are 12 when they receive their first dose will be given the vaccine designed for adults for both doses.
- Note that for the purposes of vaccinations, children will be treated as 12 years old up to a day before their actual birthday.
A reservation is required to get the vaccine. (Residents who have received a vaccine voucher can make reservations.) Have the vaccination voucher ready when making your reservation.
Vaccinations for young children (ages 5-11) will be administered at health care facilities (pediatricians) that are accustomed to vaccinating children.
*Method of reservation and available times will differ based on the facility.
Reservations by PHONE (call center)
City of Yokohama COVID-19 Vaccination Call Center
|Hours||9 am to 7 pm (including weekends and holidays)|
|Same-day reservations||Only mass vaccination venues will accept same-day reservations if there is an available time slot that day.|
|Language guidance||8 languages: Japanese, English, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Spanish, Portuguese|
|Precautions||*Take care to dial the correct number. Please also be sure to double-check the number when redialing.|
*The call center will close even once all reservation slots are filled, even if it is before 7:00 pm.
|Dedicated cancellation number||0120-045-154 (9 am to 7 pm)|
Reservations by FAX (for residents with hearing loss)
People with hearing loss who cannot make a reservation on a computer or smartphone may make reservations for mass vaccination venues or vaccinations at health care facilities via fax.
Reservations online (reservation website) (in Japanese)
What to bring on the day of the vaccination
- Please ensure the guardian will accompany the child. (If making the arrangements is difficult, a relative who is familiar with the child’s vaccination status may accompany the child in place of the actual guardian. A letter of proxy is not required, but the guardian’s signature is required on the pre-vaccination questionnaire.)
- If the child receiving the vaccine or their accompanying guardian experiences a fever or otherwise feels unwell, please cancel the reservation and make a new reservation for a different day.
- Make sure the child wears clothes that allows them to easily bare their upper arm
Please bring the following items to the vaccination.
|Vaccine voucher||Bring the whole paper with the sticker still attached.|
|Vaccination questionnaire||Fill it out beforehand and bring it with you.|
In the “phone number” field, provide a number that will reach the guardian during the day.
In the signature field, have the guardian write their own name.
(of the child getting the vaccine)
|Health insurance card, Individual Number Card, Residence Card, nursing notebook, etc.|
|Mother and Child Health Notebook||Please bring the Mother and Child Health Notebook if at all possible, because it shows the child’s vaccination history (to check when the child was vaccinated with which vaccine, and to record the COVID-19 vaccination.)|
|Medication record book (if you have one)||To be checked during the pre-vaccination screening.|
Multilingual information about the COVID-19 vaccine
The pre-vaccination questionnaire, guidance, informational leaflet have been translated into 17 languages* on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website.
*English, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Indonesian, Khmer, Korean, Mongolian, Myanmar, Nepali, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website（外部サイト）
Inquiries about vaccinations for young children (ages 5-11)
Residents without a regular physician can call to ask questions or concerns about the vaccination for answers and consultation (operators will provide guidance together with doctors as needed).
*Refer to the doctor where your child is regularly examined first.
Yokohama COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center (vaccinations for young children)
*Select “2” at the prompt for vaccinations for children.
|Hours||9 am to 6 pm (including weekends and holidays)|
|Languages||Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepali, Spanish, Portuguese|
|Precautions||*Many residents have dialed the wrong number. Take care to dial the correct number and double-check the number when redialing.|
*This call center does not take reservations.
|FAX number||050-3588-7191 (for residents with hearing loss)|