Ian Patrick, FISM News
The vaccine rollout in Japan has been affected as the nation recalled over 1.63 million doses of the Moderna vaccine candidate over concerns of contamination on Thursday.
Japan’s health ministry said that there were several cases of contaminated vials from multiple vaccination sites. They were unsure if any of the doses in question had been given, but said that no adverse effects had been reported yet.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga discussed the recall while still encouraging Japanese people and workers in the vaccine effort.
I have received a specific report from the health ministry about contaminants in Moderna‘s COVID-19 vaccine. I have instructed the health ministry to deal with the issue considering safety as a priority after analyzing the current situation. Although I haven’t got a detailed report as a conclusion, I received a report that it wouldn’t have a significant impact on our inoculation plan.
Japan has so far inoculated 54% of its population with at least one dose of a vaccine.
The Japanese government first heard of the contamination on August 16 when it was reported by distributor Takeda Pharmaceutical. The recall didn’t happen right away because the company said it needed to verify where the vials were sent.
Japan has asked Moderna to conduct an investigation into the cause of contamination. The company has recalled all the vials of the lot in question, as well as the two subsequent lots out of precaution.
The European Medicines Agency said that it was also investigating vials of Moderna as a precaution.