The health ministry of Japan announced that the contaminant discovered in a batch of Moderna’s COVID-19 shots delivered to the country are suspected to be metallic particles, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported late Thursday.
In the report, NHK cited sources at the health ministry as saying that the foreign substances that they found from unopened vials of Moderna vaccines at eight vaccination sites across Japan are believed to be metal because the particles reacted to magnets.
NHK said the examined batch of vaccines was manufactured at a factory in Spain.
Ministry officials informed that they have not received any reports of health problems or abnormalities related to the vaccines and Moderna assured that the foreign substances did not pose a safety or efficacy issue.
However, the news about domestic distributor Takeda Pharmaceutical’s discovery of the contaminants prompted the health ministry to halt the use of the 1.63 million doses of Moderna vaccines at 863 vaccination sites across Japan.
“They say they are trying to identify the material as soon as possible and also inquiring how they entered the vials,” NHK said in its report.
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