TOKYO (JAPAN) – Two people died after receiving Moderna COVID-19 vaccine jabs that were among lots later suspended following the discovery of contaminants, Japan’s health ministry said on Saturday.
The men in their 30s died this month within days of receiving their second Moderna doses, the ministry said in a release. Each had a shot from one of three manufacturing lots suspended on Thursday. The cause of the deaths is still being investigated.
Japan halted the use of 1.63 million Moderna doses shipped to 863 vaccination centres nationwide, more than a week after the domestic distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical, received reports of contaminants in some vials.
The government and Moderna had said no safety or efficacy issues had been identified and the suspension was just a precaution.
The contaminant is believed to be metallic particles, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing health ministry sources.