Covid19 : Japan halts use of Moderna due to contamination
apan will halt the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna’s Covid vaccine after reports of contamination in several lots, drugmaker Takeda and the health ministry said Thursday.
Takeda, which is in charge of sales and distribution of the Moderna shot in Japan, said it had “received reports from several vaccination centres that foreign substances have been found inside unopened vials from specific lots.” It said an issue at a manufacturing contract site in Spain was the likely cause, but did not elaborate.
The health ministry said it would work with Takeda to secure alternative doses to avoid disruption to the country’s vaccine programme, which has ramped up after a slow start. Around 43 per cent of Japan’s population is currently fully vaccinated, but the country is battling a record surge of virus cases driven by the more contagious Delta variant.
Around 15,500 people have died from Covid-19 in the country during the pandemic, and large parts of Japan are under virus restrictions.