Japan announced on August 26 that it would stop about 1.63 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to pollution reports.
The State Department of Health said “foreign material” was found in at least 390 doses of Moderna vaccine from eight vaccination sites, or in 39 vials. Asahi Shimbun..
The size of the foreign matter reported in 39 vials is reported to be several millimeters wide. The Japan Times..
Takeda Pharmaceutical, a Japanese pharmaceutical company that sells Moderna vaccines in Japan, has received reports of contamination from multiple vaccination sites. Later, the Ministry of Health learned about the issue on August 25, and the Asahi Shimbun reported.
Contamination reports include batches of a total of 565,400 doses. The ministry said it had decided to suspend the lot as a precautionary measure after consulting with Takeda. I also paused two other batches.
The three batches contain a total of 1.63 million vaccines and are distributed to 863 vaccination centers nationwide. The ministry will require the center not to use them.
Authorities said an unknown number of doses were administered in the affected lots, with no reported adverse effects so far.
Takeda said in a statement that it had asked Modana to investigate the safety of the vaccine as an emergency. We also shared batch numbers for 3004667, 3004734, and 3004956.
“Moderna has confirmed that it has been notified that particulate matter was found in the drug vials of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Moderna said in a statement. “The company is investigating the report and continues to work swiftly with its partners Takeda and regulatory agencies to address this.”
The Ministry of Health said that all vaccines currently deployed in Japan are manufactured by a company based in Spain.
It was not immediately clear whether this issue affected the supply of Moderna vaccines to other countries.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the Government of Japan is discussing with Takeda how to minimize the impact on the country’s vaccination deployment.
“We do [our] “Maximum to avoid impact on vaccination progress, especially in the workplace and in large centers,” he said.
About 43 percent of Japan’s population is fully vaccinated. About 50% take at least one dose.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.