JAPAN – Japan has stopped the use of roughly 1.63 million doses of the Moderna vaccine after the health ministry announced today (August 26) that there were foreign materials found in some doses of the same batch.
Takeda Pharmaceutical, the company that sells and distributes the Moderna vaccine in Japan, said that there has not been any reports thus far regarding any health or safety concerns pertaining to the affected doses. So far eight vaccination sites across Japan have confirmed the presence of foreign materials.
Moderna is currently investigating the nature of the materials.
There are concerns that with this many doses unavailable, it would put a dent in the ramped up vaccine rollout in Japan. The health ministry has said that they would be working with Takeda to get alternative doses for the people.
Only around 43 percent of Japan is fully vaccinated. This is concerning as they are currently dealing with a surge in COVID-19 cases, with eight additional prefectures placed under a state of emergency since Wednesday (August 25).