Moderna Inc says it has withheld supply of about 1.63 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine inafter a report of contamination of vials with particulate matter, which it suspects involves a production line in Spain, Reuters reports.
While Moderna said no safety or efficacy issues had been identified, the suspension is a fresh setback for the firm whose partners had production delays last month that disrupted supply to countries including South Korea.
“Moderna confirms having been notified of cases of particulate matter being seen in drug product vials of its Covid-19 vaccine,” it said in a statement.
“The company is investigating the reports and remains committed to working expeditiously with its partner, Takeda, and regulators to address this,” it added, referring to Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical.
It said the contamination could be due to a manufacturing issue in one of the production lines at its contract manufacturing site in Spain.
It was not immediately clear whether the issue affected supplies to other countries.
Moderna did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment. Spain’s Rovi, which bottles or “fills and finishes” Moderna vaccines for markets other than the United States, was not immediately available to comment.
The vaccine lot with complaints had 565,400 doses and Moderna said that “out of an abundance of caution” it had put the lot on hold and two adjacent ones.
Takeda said it conducted an emergency examination after particulate matter was found in a lot of vaccine vials at an inoculation site in Japan.
Japan’s health ministry said on Thursday had it decided to withdraw some doses as a precaution after consultation with Takeda but will strive to minimise the impact of the withdrawal on its inoculation plans.
Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Livingstone.
Moderna Inc says it has withheld supply of about 1.63 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine in Japan after a report of contamination of vials with particulate matter, which it suspects involves a production line in Spain.
New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern,of her ambitious elimination strategy to stamp out Covid, as the country’s outbreak grows, saying the approach has saved lives and will continue to do so.
The Australian state of New South Wales has reported a record 1,029 cases, with hospitals in Sydney, the epicentre of the outbreak,with the rise in patients. The nurses union says multiple facilities are under “enormous pressure” and have “very little capacity” in their emergency departments.
Here’s what else has been happening over the past 24 hours:
- The scientists dispatched to China by the WHO to discover Covid’s origins said that the window of opportunity for solving the mystery is “closing fast”. They , which said a lab leak was “extremely unlikely”, after details emerge on how terms were agreed with Chinese officials.
- Brazil announced it will give Covid booster shots to immunosuppressed or vulnerable people, , after it it had leaked its supply contract with Pfizer – showing it provided the pharma giant with indemnity from possible citizen lawsuits over potential adverse events after it provided jabs at cheaper prices.
- Papua New Guinea has , after accusing the country’s high commission of a deliberate “deception” that resulted in passengers infected with Covid-19 arriving in the country.
- Taiwan reported zero community cases of Covid-19 for the first time since its biggest outbreak began in May, . Residents had lived a largely normal life for most of 2020 and early 2021, albeit with closed borders.
- The emergence of the Delta variant means that vaccination may not prove to be the magic bullet that many governments hoped for, . It called on political leaders to rethink their Covid strategy to adapt it for the long term.