The Japanese Ministry of Health, after inspecting a batch of Moderna coronavirus vaccine in use in Okinawa, concluded that the black particles in some doses were fragments of rubber bottle caps.
“It was confirmed that before the ampoules were punctured, there were no foreign elements in all five. Black foreign particles got into the liquid as a result of puncturing the rubber cap of the ampoule,” the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier, the administration of the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa announced the detection of foreign substances in several more doses of Moderna coronavirus vaccine, the lot numbers of which are different from those that have been suspended for safety reasons.
According to official data, black foreign elements were found in four ampoules, and a pink substance in the fifth. As for the last ampoule, the ministry does not consider it to be “a derivative of a drug based on its size.”
“It was concluded that there is no need to suspend vaccination with a drug of the same lot,” the release notes.
On Thursday morning, the Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda Pharmaceutical, which is responsible for distributing the vaccine in the country, released the lot numbers of the vaccine, which were stopped after foreign substances were detected in a number of doses. These are vaccine lots numbered 3004667, 3004734, and 3004956. In total, the suspension will affect about 1.63 million doses. According to Japanese media reports, the batch was produced in Spain and distributed to 863 vaccination centers across the country.
Takeda Pharmaceutical has stated that it has not yet received any reports of safety concerns in this regard.