Japan has stopped using 1.63 million doses of the Moderna covid vaccine following reports of contamination in several bottles, the drugmaker Tikada and the Ministry of Health said on Thursday.
Tikada, who is in charge of sales and distribution of Modern Shot in Japan, said it had received reports from several vaccination centers that foreign substances had been found inside the unopened glass.
After consultation with the Ministry of Health, we have decided to suspend the use of the vaccine in three batches from Thursday.
The firm said it had notified Modern and “requested an immediate investigation”.
In a statement, Moderina said the reported contaminants included “a product lot distributed in Japan.”
“Moderna believes that the manufacturing problem arose in one of the lines used at its contract manufacturing site in Spain,” adding that “so far no safety or utility issues have been identified. “
Without elaborating on the nature of the contamination, he said, “With a lot of precaution, Moderna has stopped this lot and the two adjacent lots.”
“We have not received any reports of health problems due to the foreign item,” top government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told reporters.
“But we are asking people to consult their doctors if they experience anything unusual.”
According to national broadcaster NHK, 39 unopened glasses were found at eight vaccination sites in central Japan.
The Defense Ministry said the suspended batch was fed between August 6 and 20 at its large-scale vaccination center in the western city of Osaka.
However, staff poorly checked the glasses for contaminants before applying the formula, the ministry added, adding that its Tokyo Vaccination Center was not affected.
Kato said there were no “concrete reports” confirming that food containing contaminants had been given.
Contaminants reported include Moderina diets developed by the Spanish pharma company Rovi, a partner that develops Modrina vaccine outside the United States.
The Spanish Ministry of Health said Rovi was “investigating the causes of these quality problems” under the supervision of the Spanish pharmaceutical agency AEMPS.
“All available information indicates that there is no other affected batch,” he added in a statement.
Japan’s health ministry said it would work with taxis to secure alternative doses to avoid disruption to the country’s vaccine program, which has gradually increased since launch.
Tekda declined to give further details, citing the Moderna investigation. But a company spokesman said the firm encouraged the public to look for vaccine shots.
About 43 percent of Japan’s population has been fully vaccinated, as the country struggles with a record increase in cases of the virus, which runs from the highly contagious Delta type.
More than 19 to 15,600 people have died in the country, and large parts of Japan are under virus control.
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