In Japan, about 1.63 million doses of the Corona vaccine were withdrawn from the American company Moderna after reports of contaminants in the vaccine vials.
Japanese media reported that eight Japanese vaccination centers reported that some unused vaccine vials contain “foreign substances” that are several millimeters in size. Contamination has been confirmed in 39 bottles since August 16, and distributor Confirmation reported this to the Health Ministry on Wednesday, she said. The ministry and Takeda later decided to withdraw approximately 1.63 million doses as a precautionary measure and also called for no dose showing abnormalities to be used.
US drugmaker Moderna asserts it has received “multiple complaints” about a “particulate matter” in vaccine vials distributed in Japan, but says so far “no safety or efficacy issues have been found” regarding these reports. The ministry also confirmed this.
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A spokesman said that the vaccine kit that he complained about contained 565,400 doses, and out of “extreme caution” the Moderna company suspended this quantity and the two adjacent pieces. According to the spokesperson, Moderna believes that a “production problem” on one of the lines at a factory in Spain could be the cause.
The doses of plots 3004667, 3004734 and 3004956 – all produced in Spain – have already been distributed to 863 vaccination centers across Japan, and the Japanese Ministry of Health will require all of these centers not to use the vaccines. The batch numbers have been released so that people of interest can check whether they are receiving a potentially contaminated vaccine before doses are withdrawn.
“The company investigates the reports and remains committed to working transparently and swiftly with its partner Takeda and regulators to address potential concerns,” Moderna said.
The Ministry of Health says it is trying to reduce the impact on the Japanese vaccination campaign and will work with Takeda to provide alternative doses.The Ministry has not stopped the use of vaccines from other batches because it considers them safe.
About 10 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine have been administered in Japan since emergency approval in May.
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