Japan stops use of 1.63m Moderna vaccine over contamination
Japan will halt the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna’s COVID vaccine after reports of contamination in several vials, drug maker Takeda, and the health ministry said yesterday.
Takeda, which is in charge of sales and distribution of the Moderna shot in Japan, said it had, “received reports from several vaccination centres that foreign substances had been found inside unopened vials”.
“Upon consultation with the health ministry, we have decided to suspend the use of the vaccine from three whole batches from Thursday (yesterday).
The firm said it had informed Moderna and “requested urgent investigation”. Moderna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Takeda did not detail the nature of the contamination but said it had not so far received any report of health concerns arising from affected doses.
Contaminants were seen inside vials from one of the three batches but officials suspended the use of vials from the two others as a precaution, said top government spokesman Katsunobu Kato.
Japanese media said the three batches were all produced in Spain at the same time.
The health ministry said it would work with Takeda to secure alternative doses to avoid disruption of the country’s vaccine programme, which has ramped up after a slow start.