A pharmacist found several black particles in a bottle of Moderna vaccine injection. Japan has announced the temporary use of the Moderna New Crown vaccine after foreign objects were found in a bottle of the vaccine. Officials say a pharmacist in Kanagawa Prefecture saw several black particles in a vial of the vaccine. About 3,790 people have already received the batch of vaccine, and the rest of the same batch has been discontinued.
The news casts another shadow over the rollout of the new crown vaccine in Japan – where some 1.63 million doses of the Modena vaccine were stopped less than a week ago, citing contamination. The pharmacist conducted a foreign body inspection before the vaccine was put into use and found black particles. The local distributor of the vaccine shots has recalled the suspected contaminated vaccine.
Local media reports indicate that there is no evidence that the potentially contaminated vaccine poses any health risk. Takeda Pharmaceutical, which distributes and dispenses the vaccine, suspended three batches of Modena vaccine last week after finding “foreign objects” in some shots of a batch of about 560,000 doses.
ROVI, the Spanish pharmaceutical company responsible for bottling the vaccine, issued a statement saying that the problem may have originated in one of its production lines in Spain. The company also said it was investigating the incident.
On Tuesday (August 31), Japan’s Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare said that the foreign substance in the injection in southern Okinawa Prefecture was due to incorrect handling during the insertion of the syringe into the injection bottle.
Why shouldn’t the new crown vaccine be compared by its efficiency?
Japan is hosting the Paralympic Games and at the same time is dealing with a sharp rise in cases of infection from the New Crown outbreak. Its vaccine rollout program is progressing relatively slowly, with just over 40% of the Japanese population fully vaccinated and about 50% of its nationals having received their first dose. Modena is a messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine produced in the United States and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use in May of this year.
The vaccine is more than 90 percent effective from 14 days after the first dose, according to information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as the WHO. In July, European regulators said that a “very rare” side effect of Moderna and another new crown vaccine, Pfizer, was myocarditis. Among other things, the European Medicines Agency’s analysis of cases found 19 cases of myocarditis and 19 cases of pericarditis among the 20 million doses of Moderna vaccine administered. The agency noted that the benefits of the new crown vaccine still far outweigh its risks, but doctors and patients are advised to be alert for symptoms related to myocarditis.