TOKYO, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Friday that the country's state-run COVID-19 vaccination centers plan to lower the minimum age for inoculation to 16 years old or younger from 18 years old amid the spread of COVID-19 among younger people.
The decision by the centers in Tokyo and Osaka, operated by the Self-Defense Forces, was prompted by more infection cases among young people due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.
The Tokyo center will reserve 500 slots per day for people aged 16 to 18, while the Osaka center will reserve 250 slots.
Reservations can be booked starting from Oct. 3, with inoculation to begin on Oct. 7.
These slots, to be added to the current 10,000 and 5,000 slots available per day in Tokyo and Osaka, respectively, can also be allocated to reservations by those over 18 if there are vacancies.
People aged 16 and older in the country will not need parental permission or companionship by parents or guardians to get the inoculation.
Due to a surge of COVID-19 cases among younger people, the Japanese government decided earlier this month to prolong the operation of the centers through late November which were previously scheduled to be shut down at the end of September. Enditem