Two dies in Japan after shots from suspended Moderna vaccines, the government says


August 31, 2021: -On Monday, two people died after receiving Moderna Covid-19 vaccine doses that were among lots later suspended following the discovery of contaminants, the health ministry of Japan said.

In their 30s died this month within days of receives their second Moderna doses, the ministry said in a release. On Thursday, each had a dose from one of three manufacturing lots suspended. The investigation is going on regarding the death.

Japan halted the use of 1.63 million Moderna doses shipping to 863 vaccination centers nationwide after a week after the domestic distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical, received reports of contaminants in some vials.

“At this time, we do not have any evidence that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine causes these deaths,” Moderna and Takeda said in a statement. “It is important to conduct a formal investigation to determine if there is any connection.”

On Saturday, the government has said no safety or efficacy issues had been identified, and the suspension of the three Moderna batches was a precaution.

Fumie Sakamoto, the infection control manager at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo, cautioning against drawing a connection amid the shots and the fatalities reported.

“There may only be a temporal relationship between vaccination and death,” Sakamoto told Reuters. “There are so many things we still don’t know to make any conclusions on these two cases,” Sakamoto added.

The contaminants found in vials in Japan are metallic particles, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing health ministry sources.

Japan has administered above 124 million Covid-19 vaccine shots, with about 44% of the population fully inoculated.

As of August 8, 991 people died in Japan after receiving the doses of Pfizer Inc’s vaccine and 11 after receiving the amounts of Moderna, but no causality amid the injections and the deaths has been established, according to the health ministry. Adverse reactions have been reported at a frequency of 0.01% for the Moderna dose.

On Saturday, in the fatalities reported, each man had a fever the day after his second dose and died two days after getting the dose. There has not been any evidence that their doses contained contaminants, a health ministry official told reporters.

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