Contaminant in Moderna Vaccines in Japan Suspected to be Metallic Particles

Japan has suspended the use of more than 1.63 million potentially contaminated doses of the Moderna vaccine.

On Aug.27, 2021, Japan suspended the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine after a contaminant believed to be a metallic particle was found in the batch, according to a report from the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation. Japanese health ministry officials found that the particle reacted to magnets, and therefore suspected it to be a metal.

The contaminants have been found at eight vaccination sites since Aug 16, 2021. The Japanese government has told 863 vaccination sites nationwide to halt the use of vaccines from the affected lots. While contaminants were only found from vials from lot 3004667, Japan also suspended vials from 3004734 and 3004956 because they were made from the same production line as the contaminated vials.

The vials were bottled by the Spanish company Rovi, which released a report stating that the matter could be related to an error in one of their manufacturing lines. They also stated that they will put this lot and two adjacent ones on hold, but that no safety or efficacy issues have been identified in relation to the vaccine.

The Japanese health ministry has said they have not received reports of health issues from those who received vaccines from the affected lots. However, if these individuals notice an abnormality in their health, they encourage them to visit their doctor. They can also contact Takeda Pharmaceutical, the Japanese distributor of the Moderna vaccine.

UPDATE: This is a developing story. Further updates can be found here.

Sources: NHK World-Japan, Rovi