THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
September 7, 2021 at 18:15 JST
The vaccine developed by U.S. biotech firm Moderna Inc. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Heath authorities Sept. 6 reported that another person had died after receiving a second inoculation jab against COVID-19 using the Moderna Inc. vaccine.
The latest case, along with two previous ones, were traced to a batch of Moderna vaccines found to have been contaminated. Other deaths under similar circumstances have occurred too.
Moderna is working with Japanese health officials to recall three batches of COVID-19 vaccine after an investigation found stainless steel contaminants in some vials.
In the latest death, the man was vaccinated before the ministry suspended the use of a particular batch of vaccines produced in the same manufacturing line at a factory in Spain.
Authorities have not yet determined if the vaccination caused the man's death. They will investigate the case as well as those of two others confirmed dead last month.
The 49-year-old man was allergic to soba noodles. He was inoculated for a second time on Aug. 11 and found dead the following morning.
The vaccine lot number of his second vaccination was “3004734,” which should have been withdrawn.
Tomohiro Morio, chairman of the health ministry’s expert panel on safety evaluation for vaccines, said that if the contaminants are stainless steel, “they are unlikely to affect human health.”
He said the only way to be sure was to collect more data.
About 12.26 million doses of Moderna vaccines have already been administered.
Eleven deaths had been reported as of Aug. 8 after vaccination jabs had been given. This works out to 0.9 death per 1 million people.
In all 11 fatalities, health authorities judged that cause-and-effect relationships “are not evaluable” as of now.
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