Two people died after receiving doses of Moderna’s covid-19 vaccine that were in batches that were later suspended after contaminants were discovered, Japan’s Ministry of Health said Saturday.
The men in their 30s died this month, days after receiving the second dose of Moderna, the ministry said in a statement. Each had received vaccine from one of the three batches suspended on Thursday. Causes of death are being investigated.
Japan halted the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna sent to 863 vaccination centers across the country, more than a week after domestic distributor Takeda Pharmaceutical received reports of contaminants in some vials.
“Right now, I have no evidence that the deaths were caused by Moderna’s covid-19 vaccine,” Moderna and Takeda said in a statement Saturday. “It is important to conduct a formal investigation to determine if there is any relationship.”
The government also said that no safety or efficacy issues were identified, and that the suspension of the three lots of Moderna was a precaution.