Japan To Probe Deaths After Shots From Suspended Moderna Vaccines

Japan is investigating reasons behind the deaths of two people after receiving Moderna COVID-19 vaccines that were allegedly contaminated, Nikkei reported.

The health ministry last week had halted the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines after the discovery of foreign materials in one batch.

According to the health ministry, the men, in their 30s, died this month within days of receiving the Moderna vaccine from a batch, which was later taken out of circulation for contamination fears. Both of them didn’t have any medical conditions or a history of allergies.

Norihisa Tamura, the minister of health, labor and welfare, said, “We’re still not clear about the causal relationship” between the deaths and the vaccine contamination. I wish to conduct a thorough investigation.”

The Government decided to suspend certain vaccine lots after the domestic distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., received reports of contaminants in some vials.

The foreign substance was identified in 39 vials, all of which had the lot number 3004667. The ministry decided to no longer use around 570,000 doses remaining with the lot number.

The government also suspended the use of 1.06 million doses with the lot numbers 3004734 and 3004956, which were made in the same production line, as a precaution. The vaccine vials were reportedly produced in Spain.

As per reports, both men died after taking doses from lot 3004734.

The temporary halt in vaccinations is not expected to hit the vaccine rollout plans of the country, which aims to vaccinate 80 percent of all residents with 2 doses by early October.

Japan is likely to receive 10 million doses from Pfizer between October and December. The country is planning give third doses of the vaccine to its healthcare workers then.

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