Moderna vaccine batches: Japan investigates two deaths

Japan is investigating the deaths of two men who received Moderna coronavirus vaccines from batches that were suspended due to contamination, the Ministry of Health announced August 28.

Two men, aged 30 and 38, died in August in Japan after receiving a second dose of Moderna from one of three batches suspended by the government on Thursday, August 26, the ministry said in a statement.

The cause of their deaths is under investigation, the ministry said, noting that “the causal link with the vaccination is unknown at this time.”

The ministry said that the two men, who developed a fever after being vaccinated, had no underlying health problems or history of allergies.

Japan announced Thursday of suspending the use of 1.63 million doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine after reports of impurities in some vials of the product.

These doses were reportedly sent to more than 800 vaccination centers across the country.

Takeda, which imports and distributes the U.S. group’s vaccine in Japan, said it had received “reports from several vaccination centers that foreign bodies were found” in unopened vials.

About 44% of the Japanese population has been fully vaccinated, as the country faces a record increase in cases of the more contagious Delta variant.

More than 15,700 people have died from Covid-19 in the country, which is largely under health restrictions to try to contain the pandemic. But these restrictions remain limited, and their effectiveness questionable, as the government’s coercive means to impose them are limited.

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