On Wednesday, August 25, the Japanese Ministry of Health issued a statement announcing the suspension of 1.6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine due to the discovery of a foreign particle in it.
The first batch of Moderna vaccines developed in the United States arrived in Japan in late April 2021. As per The Japan Times, the Japanese government planned to vaccinate one-fifth of its entire population with Moderna vaccines since they had an agreement with Moderna for 50 million doses, which would have been quite enough 25 million people.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., the Japanese partner of Moderna, applied to the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry for approval of the vaccine, which was granted in mid-May for people aged 18 and over.
According to a statement from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., they began receiving complaints about the presence of foreign particles in unopened vaccine vials and, after consulting with the Japanese Health Ministry, decided to suspended the specified doses and requested an investigation from Moderna Inc.
As per a Reuters report. The Japanese health ministry said it has decided to withdraw nearly one and a half million Moderna vaccine doses as a precaution after foreign particles were discovered in vials at an inoculation site, adding that there have been no reported incidents of safety concerns with the doses.
Moderna Inc. issued a statement clarifying the situation and pledging to investigate the matter.
"Moderna confirms having been notified of cases of particulate matter being seen in drug product vials of its Covid-19 vaccine, the company is investigating the reports and remains committed to working expeditiously with its partner, Takeda, and regulators to address this"
According to a statement issued by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, approximately 60% of the total Japanese population will be immunized by the end of September. Only 47 percent of the Japanese population is currently immunized.
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