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Thursday, Aug. 26, 8:41
Japan’s health ministry says foreign substances found in some vials of the Moderna vaccine are believed to be metallic particles.
The foreign substances have been found from unopened vials of Moderna vaccine at eight vaccination sites in Japan since August 16.
They were manufactured at a Spanish factory.
Ministry officials have been telling 863 vaccination sites nationwide since Thursday morning to halt the use of the 1.63 million doses of the vaccine produced at the factory.
Officials say the foreign substances are in the form of particles and believed to be metal as they are attracted to a magnet.
They say they are trying to identify the material as soon as possible and also inquiring how they entered the vials.
The health ministry says the foreign substances have, so far, been found only from vials with lot number 3004667.
But they also decided to halt the use of vials with two other lot numbers, 3004734 and 3004956, even though no foreign substances have been found in them. These vials were made using the same production line at the factory during the same period.
The ministry says medical staff are required to check whether a foreign substance is in a vial before using it, as on rare occasions something may be found. Members at the eight vaccination sites found the contamination by following the rule.
The lot number of a vaccine used for each shot is written on the certificate handed over at the time of vaccination.
The ministry said it has not received any reports of health problem related to the vaccines. It is calling on people who received vaccines with the stated lot numbers to consult their doctors if they feel any abnormality in their health. They can also contact Takeda Pharmaceutical, which handles the distribution of Moderna vaccines in Japan.