Japan find ‘foreign substance’ in vial of moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine

Image credit: Reuters

A new contamination case involving Moderna’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine has been recorded in Japan, the fourth in less than a week, threatening to halt the country’s faltering vaccination campaign.

On Tuesday, Kanagawa prefecture announced that some black particles were discovered in one Moderna vaccine vial during a routine check for foreign substances before use, and the rest of the batch has been put on hold.

Last week, Japan halted the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna shots after discovering contamination in a portion of the supplies. Moderna and Rovi (ROVI.MC), a Spanish pharmaceutical company that bottles Moderna vaccines, have both stated that the cause could be a manufacturing fault, and European safety inspectors have initiated an investigation.

According to Moderna, no safety or efficacy issues have been detected as a result of the problem. There have been no reports of a similar Moderna incident in other nations.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (4502.T), the vaccine’s domestic distributor, had retrieved the vial containing the suspected contamination, and roughly 3,790 people had already gotten doses from the same lot, according to Kanagawa prefecture.

This week, more Moderna shots were temporarily banned in two more regions. Foreign chemicals have been discovered in unused vials in some cases, while others appear to be caused by portions of the vials’ rubber stoppers breaking off when needles are inserted incorrectly.

The vial supplied to Kanagawa was from a different lot than the other lots, according to Japan’s health ministry, which cited a Takeda probe. Rubber stopper material appeared to have gone into it during the production process.

The notification advises medical personnel to visually inspect vials for discoloration or extraneous objects before using them.

The contamination instances occur as Japan battles its biggest wave of illnesses in years, fueled by the Delta variety, with daily infections surpassing 25,000 for the first time in August.

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