0322 GMT August 12, 2022
It comes a day after the Japanese Health Ministry said it was investigating the death of two men who received shots from tainted Moderna batches – though the cause of their death is unknown, AFP reported.
The Okinawa prefecture, in southern Japan, said Sunday’s vaccination programme was partially postponed.
“We are suspending the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines as foreign substances were spotted in some of them,” it said in a statement.
The lots affected by the contamination spotted in Okinawa on Saturday are different from the 1.63 million doses suspended after the two deaths, according to local media reports.
That suspension came after the Health Ministry said two men, aged 30 and 38, died in early August after getting their second Moderna doses.
Those doses were drawn from one of three batches suspended by the government on Thursday after several vials were found to be contaminated.
The ministry said, however, that it was investigating the cause of deaths and it is unknown currently if there is a causal link with the vaccine.
Around 44 percent of Japan’s population has been fully vaccinated, as the country battles a record surge of coronavirus cases driven by the more contagious Delta variant.
More than 15,800 people have died from COVID-19 in Japan, and large parts of the country are under strict virus restrictions.