Japan Halts 1.63 Million Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Doses over ‘Contamination’

Japan’s Health Ministry on Thursday suspended the use of 1.63 million Moderna vaccine doses — used to inoculate against the Chinese coronavirus — after it received reports that an unknown foreign substance was found in some unused vials of the vaccine at certain distribution sites.

The 1.63 million Moderna vaccine doses suspended from use on Thursday are from the same production line as the contaminated vials detected on Wednesday.

“At least 180,000 potentially contaminated shots have already been administered in 19 of the country’s 47 prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka,” Kyodo News reported on August 26, citing its own analysis of local Japanese government data.

“The foreign substances have been confirmed since August 16 at eight vaccination sites in five prefectures — Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Gifu and Aichi. They were found in a total of 39 vials,” the Japanese news agency noted.

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has yet to determine the composition of the foreign matter detected inside the vials on Wednesday, though it said the substance resembled “small black” particles “a few millimeters in size.” An unnamed senior official of the Health Ministry told reporters on Thursday the materials “could be metallic fragments,” according to Kyodo News. – READ MORE