Pool via Getty Images
VACCINE – Foreign bodies found in the tubes. Japan announced this Thursday, August 26, to suspend the use of 1.63 million doses vaccine of the American biotech Moderna against the coronavirus, after reports of the presence of impurities in three batches distributed in the country.
The Japanese pharmaceutical group Takeda, which imports and distributes Moderna’s vaccine in Japan, said in a statement that it had received “reports from several vaccination centers that foreign bodies were found in sealed vaccine tubes from batches. specific ”.
Moderna called to conduct an “urgent investigation”
“After consultation with the Ministry of Health, we have decided to suspend vaccine use”Of affected batches as of Thursday, or 1.63 million doses in total, Takeda added.
The Japanese group asked Moderna to conduct an “urgent investigation” into the matter. Asked by AFP, the American biotech was not immediately available to react to this information.
Without detailing the nature of the impurities detected, Takeda specified that it had not yet received any reports concerning possible health risks linked to the doses affected.
Distribution of alternative doses
For its part, the Japanese Ministry of Health has declared that it will cooperate with Takeda to distribute alternative doses, in order to avoid an interruption of the national vaccination program which has been accelerating for several months, after a slow start.
About 43% of the population of Japan is fully vaccinated. But that doesn’t stop the country from struggling right now with record levels of daily infections, due in particular to the Delta variant, which is more resistant and more contagious.
Most of the archipelago is now affected by restrictions against Covid-19, but these remain limited and their effectiveness questionable, the coercive means of the government to impose them being limited.
See also on The HuffPost: DJ and nightclub for the “long night of vaccines” in Berlin