Health

Okinawa vaccine contaminants likely from needle stick – Minister

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31 Aug 2021 9:19 AM GMT
Okinawa vaccine contaminants likely from needle stick – Minister
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Japan’s Health Minister on Tuesday, said foreign matter found in Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccines in the southern prefecture of Okinawa,  were caused when needles were stuck into the vials. Some Moderna shots were temporarily halted in Okinawa on Sunday,  after foreign materials were discovered in vials and syringes. The health ministry said later that  […]

Japan’s Health Minister on Tuesday, said foreign matter found in Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccines in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, were caused when needles were stuck into the vials.

Some Moderna shots were temporarily halted in Okinawa on Sunday, after foreign materials were discovered in vials and syringes.

The health ministry said later that needles might have been incorrectly inserted into vials, breaking off bits of the rubber stopper.

“Whatever the reason (for the foreign matter) we have heard that there is no safety or other issues.’’

Health minister, Norihisa Tamura, told reporters on Tuesday, that it was not uncommon for foreign material to enter a vial with other vaccines.

“We will continue to gather information and report back,” he added.

Japan is facing its biggest wave of COVID-19 infections so far in the pandemic, driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

A race to boost inoculations had been hampered by delays in imported vaccines and the discovery of the contaminants in some Moderna doses that prompted the suspension of three batches.

Taro Kono, minister, in charge of the inoculation campaign, said he wanted to speed up shipments of vaccines to municipalities that had been forced to put halt reservations due to shortages.

Kono told reporters that the government was considering when and how to give out booster shots, that might be needed to maintain immunity against the virus.

However, the government was focusing on completing the first two shots for the public.

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