Japan Finds More Contaminated COVID-19 Vaccines Containing Black Particles

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Japan found black particles contaminating a vial of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine marking the fourth time in the last week that shots were suspended, Reuters reported.

Japan suspended 1.63 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine on Aug. 25 following contamination reports, according to Reuters. The company said manufacturing issues caused the contamination, and European safety regulators have launched an investigation.

The Kanagawa prefecture said Takeda Pharmaceutical, the vaccine’s domestic distributor, collected all remaining contaminated vaccines, according to Reuters. The shots were administered to about 3,790 people before contaminations were reported, but no one has been harmed.

Other batches of Moderna’s vaccines were suspended this week in the prefecture after foreign particles were found in the vials. The contamination was mostly due to parts of the vial’s stopper breaking off and falling into the vaccination.

“The most probable cause of the particulates identified in lot 3004667 is related to friction between two pieces of metal installed in the stoppering module of the production line due to an incorrect setup,” Moderna told the Daily Caller News Foundation via email. “It is believed that this condition occurred during the assembling of the line prior to production of batch 3004667 and was a result of improper alignment during a like changeover before starting this batch.”

Moderna said that traces of stainless steel particles were found in the vaccine, but the traces don’t pose a risk to patients. More than 200 million doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered to more than 110 million patients in 45 different countries, the company said.

Japan reported 146,740 COVID cases and 357 deaths this week, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. Roughly 46% of the population is fully vaccinated.

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