Japan suspends 1.63 million doses of Moderna vaccine after contamination found
Japan and Moderna both maintained that no safety or efficacy issues had been identified and further stated that the suspension was only a precaution.
Japan halted the use of around 1.63 million doses of Moderna vaccine on Thursday after contamination was discovered in vials, sparking concerns about a supply shortfall as the country attempts to speed immunizations in the face of a Covid-19 spike.
According to the health ministry, contamination has been detected from several immunization locations. According to authorities, some dosages may have been delivered, but no detrimental health effects have been documented thus far. Japan and Moderna both maintained that no safety or efficacy issues had been identified and further stated that the suspension was only a precaution. However, the decision forced numerous Japanese firms to cancel staff vaccines scheduled for Thursday.
"Moderna confirms that it has been alerted of incidents of particle matter found in drug product vials of its Covid-19 vaccination," Moderna stated in a statement. "The firm is reviewing the concerns and remains dedicated to working swiftly with its partner, Takeda, and authorities to resolve this," it said, referring to Takeda Pharmaceutical, which distributes the vaccine in Japan.
According to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the issue would have little impact on the country's immunization strategy. He had previously stated that about 60% of the people will be entirely vaccinated by the end of September and that the government had adequate vaccines to offer booster doses if such a choice was made. Katsunobu Kato, chief cabinet secretary, stated that no incidents of health problems were documented as a result of tainted injections administered.
Japan is totally reliant on vaccinations developed by Moderna, Pfizer Inc., and AstraZeneca. Since mid-June, Moderna has been at large-scale centres and workplace inoculations, helping to accelerate Japan's deployment. As per government data, approximately 43 per cent of the Japanese population has been fully immunized.