Tokyo (AP) — Japan will stop using about 1.63 million Moderna vaccines on Thursday after finding contamination in unused vials as it seeks to accelerate vaccination amid a surge in COVID-19. bottom.
The Ministry of Health said pollution was reported from multiple vaccination sites. Several doses may have been given, but so far no adverse health effects have been reported, officials said.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a Japanese pharmaceutical company responsible for the sale and distribution of vaccines in Japan, said it has decided to stop using doses produced on the same production line for safety reasons.
It asked Moderna to conduct an emergency investigation, told medical institutions and organizers to stop using vaccines produced in Spain, and shared potential production numbers.
The Ministry of Health and Takeda did not provide details on the type of contamination or whether the dose in question could have been distributed outside Japan.
The problem with the moderna vaccine arose in the same way that Japan suffered from a surge in infection. New daily cases reach new highs in many parts of the country, putting a serious burden on the healthcare system.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters that the government and Takeda are discussing ways to minimize the impact on Japan’s progress in vaccination.
“We will do our best not to affect the progress of vaccination, especially in the workplace and in large centers,” said Kato.
Japan relies entirely on foreign-developed vaccines by Moderna, Pfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca. Moderna has been vaccinated in large centers and workplaces since mid-June, helping to accelerate its expansion in Japan.
About 43% of Japan’s population is fully vaccinated, with a daily dose of about 1 million.