Japan barred around 1.63 million doses of Moderna vaccine after contamination appeared in unused vials, said a Japanese news agency today.
The fear of contamination spread widely, amid the country’s attempt to boost the vaccination process. This comes amid a new COVID-19 flux in Japan.
However, the government had to suspend the doses for the safety of its population.
According to the health ministry in Japan, various vaccination spots reported contamination. Some people received shots from it, but no one reported any adverse effects until now.
The suspension decision goes back to Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., which is a Japanese drugmaking company. The company is responsible of the sales and distribution of the shots in Japan.
According to Takeda, the vaccines got suspended as an act of taking a safety precaution.
Takeda also had to send an urgent message to Moderna, asking for an urgent investigation into this. In addition, Takeda urged the other medical institutions to suspend the use of Moderna as well as shared the numbers that may be affected.
Nevertheless, the health ministry and Takeda Company have not given any further details concerning the contamination. They have also not shared if the vaccines got outside the country or not.
The contamination issue struck the country at bad timing, as the country still struggles with COVID-19 surge. Japan witnesses high numbers of infections every day, draining the health care system in the country.
Katsunobu Kato, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, declared that the government and Takeda are suggesting solutions. They are trying to diminish the impact on the vaccination process in the country.
“We will do utmost to avoid any impact on vaccination progress, especially at worksites and large-scale centers,” said Kato.
It is worth mentioning that Japan entirely depends on outsiders’ manufactured vaccines. They depend on Moderna Pfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca. Japan has been utilizing Moderna for two months and a half now. And it helped the country accelerate the vaccination process.
Around 43% of the Japanese population have received two doses. Japan gives doses with a rate of one million a day.