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Japan to stop using 1.63 million doses of Moderna after contaminations found



PHOTO: Marc Veraart/Flickr

Japan is set to stop using the 1.63 million doses of Moderna after reports of contamination in multiple vials came out, says drugmaker Takeda and the health ministry today.

Takeda says they had received reports from multiple vaccinations centres that “foreign substances” had been discovered inside unopened vials. The drugmaker adds that they consulted with the health ministry and decided to suspend the use of the vaccine. Takeda told Moderna about the problem and then requested an urgent investigation.

Takeda did not provide further details on the contamination but says they have not received any reported health issues cropping up due to the affected doses. Government spokesperson Katsunobu Kato asks people to consult their doctors if they experience any abnormalities. Local Japanese media says the 3 batches were produced in Spain at the same time. The contaminants were detected in 39 unopened vials at 8 locations in central Japan, says national broadcaster NHK.

The defence ministry says doses from a suspended batch had already been administered from August 6 to August 20 at a mass vaccination centre in Osaka. The defence ministry says the staff visually checks vials for contaminants before they administer the vaccine. Also, that the Tokyo vaccination centre was not affected by this suspended batch.

Katsunobu says there have not been concrete reports that proved doses with contaminants were administered. The health ministry says it will work with Takeda to get different doses to avoid throwing off Japan’s vaccine programme.



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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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