3 Août 2016
August 1, 2016
By TAKASHI SUGIMOTO/ Staff Writer
Tubes of stable iodine jelly for newborns up to a month old (Provided by Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co.)
Tubes of stable iodine jelly for infants, which would prevent radioactive iodine from being absorbed into their systems, will be stockpiled for emergencies in municipalities near nuclear power plants around Japan.
The government will start distributing 300,000 doses of emergency iodine stock to the municipalities in a 30-kilometer radius from the nuclear plants for use in the event of major nuclear accidents, the Cabinet Office announced July 13.
There are about 115,000 infants under the age of 3 in those municipalities.
Previously, the emergency plan had called for feeding iodine to infants after evacuation by pharmacists dissolving iodine powder with syrup. However, the procedure has been reviewed as the protective measure could come too late for infants, whose thyroids are more susceptible to even small doses of radioactive iodine.
The new iodine supply for infants is strawberry-flavored jelly in a tube. It can be dissolved in hot water or milk to feed newborns. The efficacy is the same as ordinary iodine tablets, and it has a shelf life of three years.
Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co. in Toyama has started production of the lot after receiving an order from the government. The government will provide financial support for the municipalities to stock up on the volume of jellies they need.
The distribution will start in September and is scheduled to be completed before the end of fiscal 2016.