TOKYO — Japan suspended use of about 1.63 million doses of Moderna vaccine Thursday after contamination was found in unused vials, raising concern of a supply shortage as the country tries to accelerate vaccinations amid a COVID-19 surge.
It asked Moderna to conduct an emergency investigation and told medical institutions and organizers to stop using the vaccine produced in Spain and shared the production numbers that may be affected.
The health ministry and Takeda did not give details on the type of contamination or if the doses in question may have been distributed outside Japan.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters the government and Takeda are discussing ways to minimize the impact on Japan’s vaccination progress.
“We will do utmost in order to avoid any impact on vaccination progress, especially at worksites and large-scale centers,” Kato said.
About 43% of the Japanese population have been fully vaccinated, with daily doses of about 1 million.
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