Third man died in Japan after receiving contaminated Moderna vaccine

Third person dies in Japan after taking contaminated Moderna coronavirus vaccine

A 49-year-old man in Japan died last month after he was given a dose of Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine that was among batches later recalled from use by its local distributor, the health ministry said Monday.

Moderna and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said last Wednesday they would recall three lots of the vaccine after stainless steel contaminants were found in some vials.

Two other men, aged 30 and 38, also died in August within days of getting their second Moderna shot. In all three cases, the men received doses from a batch manufactured in the same production line as another lot from which some unused vials were reported to contain foreign substances at multiple inoculation sites in Japan.

The deaths remain under investigation, and the Japanese health ministry said it has yet to establish any causal relationship with the vaccine.

More than 500,000 people have been injected with vaccines from the three faulty batches, according to the minister in charge of the vaccine programme, Taro Kono.

Most of the vaccines used in Japan are made by Pfizer, though at least 12.2m doses of Moderna have been administered. Nearly 136m coronavirus doses in total have been given in Japan, where 48% of the population is full vaccinated and more than 59% have received at least one shot.

New infections in Tokyo dropped below 1,000 on Monday for the first time since mid-July.

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