Wed. Sep 22nd, 2021

Japan govt halts 1.6 m doses of Moderna shot days after contamination reports

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Almost two weeks after the local distributor received reports of some contaminated vials, Japan suspends Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) Covid-19 vaccine.

Japan has however assured the general public that the Moderna vaccine poses no safety issues and that the suspension is a precautionary measure. But the suspension led companies to cancel vaccination plans for their workers scheduled for Thursday.

“Moderna confirms having been notified of cases of particulate matter being seen in drug product vials of its COVID-19 vaccine,” Moderna said in a statement.

“The company is investigating the reports and remains committed to working expeditiously with its partner, Takeda, and regulators to address this,” it added, referring to Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical (4502.T).

A Health Ministry official said Takeda first found out about the contaminated shots on Aug. 16 and reported the issue to the government on Wednesday. The delay was because Takeda needed time to gather information on which vials were affected and where they were in the country, the official said.

Moderna said the contamination could be due to a manufacturing issue in one of the production lines at its contract manufacturing site in Spain.

The suspension is a fresh setback for the firm, whose partners had production delays last month that disrupted supplies to countries, including South Korea.

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