Japan suspends around 1.63m doses of Moderna over contamination - GulfToday

Japan suspends around 1.63m doses of Moderna over contamination


A health worker prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Sumida ward of Tokyo. AP

Gulf Today Report

Around 1.6 million doses of Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine has been withdrawn from use in Japan due to contamination, raising concern of a supply shortage as the country tries to accelerate vaccinations amid a COVID-19 surge.

Some doses might have been administered, but no adverse health effects have been reported so far, citing a health ministry announcement on Thursday.


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Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday that he received a report that the country's inoculation plan would be little affected by a recent contamination incident involving Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

This photo shows the syringes with the Moderna vaccine at a newly opened vaccination centre in Tokyo. AP

But Suga said he instructed the health ministry to deal with the issue considering safety as a priority.

Earlier, several vaccination centres reported vials contained "foreign matter", the report said, adding that the ministry will look to minimise the impact of the withdrawal on Japan's vaccination drive.

Takeda Pharmaceutical distributes the Moderna vaccine in Japan, Nikkei, the world's largest financial newspaper, said.

Both Moderna and Takeda did not immediately respond to the media requests for comment.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., a Japanese drugmaker in charge of sales and distribution of the vaccine in Japan, said it decided to suspend use of doses manufactured in the same production line as a safety precaution.

It asked Moderna to conduct an emergency investigation and told medical institutions and organizers to stop using the vaccine produced in Spain and shared the production numbers that may be affected.


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