According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approximately 1.6 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine have been pulled out of Japan over fear of contamination.

Several vaccination centers who were in possession of the vials reported that they appeared to contain foreign matter. Later on the ministry reported that potentially the foreign matter was metal.

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“It’s a substance that reacts to magnets. It could be metal.” – Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare 


Takeda Pharmaceutical is the company that handles the distribution of the U.S. developed Moderna Vaccine to Japan. While Moderna confirmed receiving several complaints they claimed there was, “no safety or efficacy issues” related to the situation.

“The company is investigating the reports and remains committed to working transparently and expeditiously with its partner, Takeda, and regulators to address any potential concerns,” – Moderna Spokesperson

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Japan authorities have not stopped distribution of the vaccine from other vials. The Moderna vaccine was approved for emergency use in Japan back in May. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that safety is a top priority but there doesn’t appear to be any contamination from other batches. He also added that the loss of the 1.6 million vials, “won’t have a significant impact on the country’s vaccination campaign.”


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