Japan blocks 1.6 million contaminated vaccines produced in Spain

By Antonio Hermosín Gandul

Tokyo, Aug 26 (EFE).- Japan decided Thursday to block 1.63 million Covid-19 vaccines from the Moderna pharmaceutical company produced in Spain, as a preventive measure after “abnormal substances” were found in some vials.

The decision was announced Thursday by the Japanese Health Ministry and pharmaceutical company Takeda, in charge of distributing and selling the vaccine in the country, after the anomalies detected in the vaccine containers by health personnel.

The blocked doses belong to three batches produced in a plant affiliated with Moderna in Spain, a Japanese Health Ministry spokesman told EFE.

As reported in a statement by Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda, “abnormal substances” were found in some of the bottles belonging to one of the three blocked batches and used in vaccination centers in Japan.

Given the discovery, Japanese authorities decided to suspend the use of three batches produced at the same time and in the same Spanish plant as a precaution. It wasn’t clear as of publication time how many vials were contaminated or the health risks they could pose.

“No case has been reported in which there have been secondary effects related to that,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato at a press conference.

The American pharmaceutical company Moderna is “investigating” the details about the presence of abnormal substances in the vials and their possible causes, the spokesman said.

Japanese authorities have also made public the reference numbers of the batches in question (3004667, 3004734 and 3004956), so that patients who have received vaccines belonging to them consult with medical specialists if they suffer discomfort.

Although official channels have not yet revealed the type of “anomalous substances,” Japanese media said they were likely remains of materials from containers used for the doses of the vaccines. EFE


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