The Japanese Ministry of Health said today that Japan is investigating the deaths of two men who received batches of the Covid-19 vaccine Moderna discontinued due to contamination.
The men, aged between 30 and 38, died earlier this month after getting their second doses of Moderna from one of three industrial groups that the government suspended on Thursday after several contaminated vials were found, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said the cause of death was still under investigation and “at present, the causal relationship with vaccines is unknown.”
The ministry said that the two men developed a fever after receiving the vaccinations, and neither of them had health problems or a history of allergies.
The suspension affects 1.63 million doses of Moderna Covid vaccines, which are said to have been shipped to more than 800 vaccination centers across Japan.
Takeda, which is responsible for sales and distribution of the vaccine in Japan, said it had received reports from several vaccination centers of “foreign substances” inside unopened vials.
About 44% of Japan’s population has been fully vaccinated, as the country battles a record rise in virus cases driven by the more contagious Delta variant.
More than 15,700 people have died of Covid-19 in the country, and large parts of Japan are under strict virus restrictions.
India vaccinates 10 million in one day
India has dealt more than 10 million strikes to Covid-19 in a single day for the first time, authorities said today, as the South Asian giant strengthens its defenses for an expected new surge.
The health ministry said the 10 million teachers were crossed on Friday, surpassing the country’s previous daily record of 9.2 million. The government has come under fire after a brutal wave of coronavirus in April and May killed more than 200,000 people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the achievement as a “crucial achievement” for the nation of 1.3 billion people.
“Glory to those who get vaccinated and those who get vaccinated,” he said on Twitter.
The government had been aiming to vaccinate about 1.1 billion adults by the end of the year, but shortages, administrative confusion and indecision have hampered the numbers. Only about 15% have had two doses since the campaign began in January.
The number of daily infections in India has fallen dramatically since the devastating surge in April and May overshadowed its crumbling health infrastructure.
Almost all restrictions on movement and activity have been lifted although experts have warned of a new wave as early as next month as the festival season begins.
Daily case numbers are starting to rise again above 40,000 and more than 500 deaths are reported today. The 46,000 new cases reported today were the highest number in two months. Much of the rise was blamed on an increase in troops in the southern state of Kerala.
India currently administers three vaccines – Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, known locally as Covishield, Covaxin by India’s Bharat Biotech and Russian-made Sputnik V..
The country has so far recorded 437,370 deaths and more than 32 million infections, the second highest in the world after the United States. Experts say that due to a lack of reports, the real losses in India could be more than four times higher.
Australia records record Covid-19 cases, driven by NSW state
Australia reported 1,126 cases of coronavirus today, the vast majority of them in New South Wales, the epicenter of the delta outbreak.
More than half of Australians have been in lockdown for weeks as officials in Sydney and Melbourne, the country’s largest cities, and the capital, Canberra, struggle to quell the outbreak.
New South Wales, the most populous state and home to Sydney, has reported 1,035 locally acquired cases of Covid-19, smashing Thursday’s record of 1,029 as the outbreak that began in mid-June continues.
Victoria has reported 64 cases, mostly in its capital Melbourne, and the Australian Capital Territory that includes Canberra has had 26 infections. Queensland medical vice president Michael Kidd said at a news briefing.
Despite the record in New South Wales, the state’s Liberal Conservative government said it will ease some restrictions next week, allowing weddings of up to five guests.
The state’s management of the outbreak – which has nearly 14,700 active cases – has come under fire from officials in neighboring Victoria, who have imposed stricter restrictions, believing the outbreak can be quelled there.
“I’m not sure that 1,000 cases a day is a sign of hope,” Victoria Health Minister Martin Foley said of injuries in New South Wales. “I’m sure if you asked the intensive care nurses in Sydney hospitals at the moment how they saw the situation, it wouldn’t be so rosy.”
After months of delays in supplying Pfizer shots and public unease about the AstraZeneca vaccine, Australia has been racing in recent weeks to vaccinate its residents. At current rates, 80% could be vaccinated by mid-November.
The federal government announced a plan last month that envisions lockdowns as a key to suppressing the outbreak until 70% of the population is vaccinated and a gradual reopening of Australia’s borders when the number reaches 80%.
Only 33.7% of people over 16 have been fully vaccinated, but with around 49,800 cases and 993 deaths, Australia has kept its Covid-19 numbers relatively low.
Neighboring New Zealand, which has been largely virus-free this year, is also battling a delta outbreak, reporting 82 new locally acquired cases today, all in Auckland, the epicenter, where the nation remains under strict lockdown.
“Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante.”