Moderna suspends shipments of vaccine to Japan after reviews of contamination


Moderna Inc has suspended shipments of approximately 1.63 million cans to Japan after it was informed of particulate matter contamination of its COVID-19 vaccine vials, a US vaccine maker said on Wednesday. The contamination could be due to a production disadvantage with one of many production strains on its contract manufacturing site in Spain, the company mentioned.

There were 565,400 cans within the bins with complaints, and “as a precaution” Moderna is moving the batch and two adjacent ones. “So far, no safety or efficacy issues have been identified,” said Moderna, including the fact that it will be working with its partner Takeda Pharmaceuticals in addition to regulators to resolve the issue.

Takeda mentioned that it conducted an emergency investigation after fine particulate matter was found in many vaccine bottles on the vaccination website. The Ministry of Health said early Thursday that, after consulting Takeda, it had decided to cut some doses as a precaution, but would try to reduce the impression of the cancellation on its vaccination schedules.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga mentioned Wednesday that around 60% of residents are likely to be fully vaccinated by the end of September and that there are enough vaccines in the country to cope with booster doses if that is the case. Nikkei first reported the information about the contaminated vials, citing the Ministry of Health.