A third person is said to have died in Japan after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine from a batch of doses that are being recalled due to contamination with tiny stainless-steel particles.
A third person died in Japan after receiving a dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, which was among batches recalled due to potential contamination with foreign materials, according to Japanese health officials.
According to a statement issued by Japan’s Ministry of Health on Monday, a 49-year-old man died the morning after receiving his second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on August 11.
The shot, according to the ministry, came from one of three batches containing approximately 1.6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine that were halted on Aug. 26 due to concerns that they contained metallic particles.
The ministry announced two deaths linked to the doses in August, one reported prior to the recall and one afterward, two days after the batches were recalled.
In response to the two deaths, Moderna and its Japanese distributor Takeda Pharmaceutical issued a joint statement stating that the presence of the foreign particulate in the vaccines produced in Spain was most likely caused by friction between two pieces of metal along the production line.
“There is no evidence that the two tragic deaths following administration of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine … were in any way related to administration of the vaccine,” they said. “The relationship is currently considered to be coincidental.”
Japan has approved the use of three vaccines, those manufactured by Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca.
According to Oxford University’s Our World In Data project, more than 47 percent of Japan’s 126 million people have been fully vaccinated against the pandemic, with the remaining 9 percent having received only a partial vaccination.