The health ministry plans to lower the minimum age for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. from 18 to 12, sources with access to the plan said Thursday.

According to the sources, the ministry will submit the plan to a panel of experts as early as Monday. The vaccine was approved for use in Japan in May.

Moderna has confirmed that the vaccine is safe and effective for those age 12 to 17 through a clinical trial conducted in the United States on around 3,700 people, according to the sources.

The ministry is expected to consider making the Moderna vaccine eligible for public funding, the sources stated.

In May, the ministry lowered the minimum age for Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine from 16 to 12.

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