Japan suspends the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna’s covid vaccine after reports of potential metal contaminants in some of the vials.
In a report from NHK, ministry sources said the potential metal particles that were found in the vials react to magnets and were therefore suspected to be metal. Moderna has described it as “particulate matter” that did not pose a safety or efficacy issue.
The European Union drugs regulator said it was investigating the incident at the Spanish plant run by Rovi but did not find reasons to seek a temporary suspension of production after an initial assessment. Moderna and Rovi said the contamination could be due to a manufacturing issue in one of Rovi’s production lines.
“COVID-19 vaccine production in Rovi is able to continue, following a preliminary risk assessment,” the European Medicines Agency told Reuters in a statement. “An investigation into the root cause is ongoing. EMA will be able to provide more information as the investigation progresses.”
Moderna and Rovi said the contamination could be due to a manufacturing issue in one of Rovi’s production lines.
Japan is also investigating the deaths of two men who received their vaccinations from batches of Moderna’s potentially contaminated vials.
The two men, aged 30 and 38, died earlier in August after receiving the second dose of their Moderna vaccination. Their doses came from one of the lots suspended by the government after multiple vials were found to be contaminated with what appears to be metal contaminants.
The Japanese health ministry said the causes of deaths were still being investigated and “currently, causal relations with the vaccinations are unknown”. Both men contracted fever after receiving their vaccinations and neither had underlying health conditions or allergic history.
Moderna has been in the news a lot lately. We reported yesterday about the truck crashing near Morgantown, West Virginia carrying Moderna vaccines destined to foreign countries for aid.