Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine was suspended in the Okinawa region of Japan on Sunday after another contamination was spotted said the local government. Foreign substances were found in more batches and it was confirmed two people died having taking shots from the affected lots.
This new suspension follows a previous 1.63 Million doses suspended to foreign substances that seem to be metallic according to the NHK news in Japan, making this a total of 2.63 million doses withdrawn from Japan.
This latest reports from Gunma in southern Okinawa, could be a big blow to the vaccine supplies in Japan that is already struggling to vaccinate the young population. With only 44% of the population vaccinated and a surge in covid cases, this could slow down the vaccination drive in the entire country.
According to Reuters, an official said a tiny black substance was found in a Moderna vial in Gunm, and that while in Okinawa, black substances were spotted in syringes and a vial while a pink material was found in a different syringe.
Japan’s ministry of health spokesperson said as a precautionary measure the government has had to suspend the the use of this vaccines whilst the causes of deaths are being investigated.
Moderna and Rovi the Spanish pharmaceutical company that bottles Moderna vaccines for markets other the Unites States, said at the time of the first suspension that the contamination could be due to a manufacturing tissues in one of Ron’s production lines.
Rovi shares plunged more than 20% in early trade.