Two die in Japan after shots from US-made Moderna vaccines
Two people died after receiving COVID-19 vaccine shots made by US drug maker Moderna that were among lots later suspended following the discovery of contaminants.
The men in their 30s died this month within days of receiving their second Moderna doses, Japan's health ministry said on Saturday.
Each had a shot from one of three manufacturing lots suspended on Thursday.
Japan halted the use of 1.63 million Moderna doses shipped to 863 vaccination centres nationwide, more than a week after the domestic distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical, received reports of contaminants in some vials.
The contaminant is believed to be metallic particles, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing health ministry sources.
In January, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Imam Khamenei, banned coronavirus vaccines made in the US and UK, saying those two nations were "untrustworthy" and possibly sought to spread Covid-19 to other countries.
Imam Khamenei has blamed foreign vaccine sellers for the lack of sufficient coronavirus vaccines, reiterating his call for Iran to achieve self-reliance in vaccine production.
Iran has joined a handful of countries that produce the coronavirus vaccine.
In June, the government approved the CovIran Barekat vaccine, which was jointly developed by Barekat Pharmaceutical Group and Shifa Pharmed Industrial Group.
After passing all clinical trials, it was rolled-out for emergency use and is currently being mass produced. Mass production is estimated to reach 30 million doses per month when other production lines become operational.