Japan is considering two deaths after Covid-19 vaccinations with the American Moderna vaccine.

According to the Ministry of Health, it is unclear whether the deaths are related to the vaccinations.

But there is a suspicion that contamination may have played a role.

Last week, Japan withdrew three batches of the vaccine produced around the same time with a total of 1.63 million doses because a foreign substance was found in one of the batches.

Okinawa Prefecture stopped vaccinations at a vaccination center on Sunday after contaminants were discovered in another batch.

Look for the cause of the pollution

Patrick Welter

Correspondent for business and politics in Japan, based in Tokyo.

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Two men in their thirties had died in August, three days after receiving a second shot of the Moderna vaccine. None of the men had allergies or other health problems. They are said to have received vaccine from one of the two batches that were later withdrawn from the market as a precaution, even if no contamination could be detected. Moderna and the Japanese sales partner Takeda confirmed the investigation and emphasized that no connection between the deaths and the vaccinations had been found so far.

According to Moderna, the contamination of the vaccine could be related to production at the moderna-contracted pharmaceutical company Rovi in ​​Spain, which supplies the vaccine from Japan. Japan has ordered 100 million cans from Moderna, half of which will be delivered this year. The country uses the vaccine for corporate immunization and for mass vaccination in special vaccination centers run by the national government.