Japan puts hold on 1M more vaccine doses


Two regions in Japan have temporarily put on hold the use of an additional 1 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine after contaminants were found in more batches of the shot, Reuters reported.

The most recent reports of vaccine contamination came from the Gunma prefecture and southern Okinawa prefecture. These reports prompted two batches of Moderna’s vaccines to be temporarily halted.

According to Reuters, a tiny black substance was found in a vaccine vial in Gunma. Black substances were also found in a vial and syringe in Okinawa where a pink material was also found in a separate syringe.

The affected batches are separate from a previous batch of vaccines that had been suspended earlier this month, Reuters reports.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare later cleared these shots for administration, a Moderna representative told The Hill.

Japan had already suspended the administration of 1.6 million Moderna vaccine doses last week. It was reported last week that two men in Japan had died in August after receiving potentially contaminated Moderna vaccine doses, though the causes of death were still unclear.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, the two people who died were in their 30s and died just days after receiving their second doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“At this time, we do not have any evidence that these deaths are caused by the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and it is important to conduct a formal investigation to determine whether there is any connection,” Moderna and the Japanese Takeda Pharmaceutical Company said in a statement last week.

These vaccine suspensions come at a time when the country is facing record levels of severe coronavirus cases.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker, around 45 percent of Japan’s total population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 19,000 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Japan as of Monday, along with 50 related deaths.

Updated at 1:54 p.m.

Tags COVID-19 pandemic in Japan COVID-19 vaccine Japan Moderna vaccine concerns

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video