Japan’s Health Ministry has pulled about 1.63 million doses of the Modernavaccine out of use after vials at eight vaccination sites were discovered to be contaminated with a still-unspecified substance that “reacts to magnets”.
NikkeiAsia reported the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said early Thursday that roughly 1.6 million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccination have been taken out of use in Japan due to contamination reported in some vials.
According to the ministry’s notification, some immunization centers have reported that vaccine vials contained foreign substance, and it would work to minimize the impact of the withdrawal on the country’s inoculation program.
The ministry said later in the day that the substance that had been mixed in may have been metal. “It’s a substance that reacts to magnets,” a ministry official said. “It could be metal.”
Nasdaq-listed Moderna said that “several complaints of particulate matter” in vaccination vials supplied in Japan had been received, but that “no safety or efficacy issues” had been discovered as a result of these reports.
“The company is investigating the reports and remains committed to working transparently and expeditiously with its partner, Takeda, and regulators to address any potential concerns,” a Moderna spokesperson told Nikkei, saying the drugmaker believed a “manufacturing issue” at a plant in Spain was the cause.