Japan’s health ministry said two people died after receiving the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, which was later suspended after contaminants were discovered.
The ministry said in a statement that a 30-year-old man died this month within days of receiving his second dose of Moderna. Each had a shot from one of three industry clusters pending Thursday. The causes of death are being investigated.
Japan has halted use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna shipped to 863 vaccination centers nationwide, more than a week after the local distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., received reports of contaminants in some vials.
“Currently, we have no evidence that these deaths were caused by the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine,” Moderna and Takeda said in a statement Saturday. “It is important that an official investigation be conducted to determine if there is any link.”
The Japanese government also said that no safety or efficacy issues had been identified, and the suspension of Moderna’s three batches was a precautionary measure.
Fumi Sakamoto, director of infection control at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo, cautioned against the link between vaccine doses and deaths reported on Saturday.
“There may only be a temporary relationship between vaccination and death,” Sakamoto told Reuters. “There are a lot of things we still don’t know to reach any conclusions about these two cases.”
The Japanese broadcaster NHK, citing health ministry sources, reported that the contaminants in some bottles in Japan were believed to be metallic particles.
Japan has administered more than 124 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, with about 44% of the population fully vaccinated.
As of August 8, 991 people died in Japan after receiving the Pfizer vaccines and 11 after receiving the Moderna vaccine, but a causal relationship between the injections and deaths has not been proven, according to the Ministry of Health.
Adverse reactions have been reported with a frequency of 0.01 segments in the Moderna snapshot.
In the deaths reported on Saturday, each man developed a fever the day after his second dose and died two days later.
A Health Ministry official told reporters there was no evidence their shots contained contaminants.
we visited Covid-19 vaccine dashboard For updates on the start of the vaccination program and the rate of coronavirus cases in Ireland
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