Japan has suspended around 10 lakh more doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine after foreign substances were found in some batches, AFP reported on Monday.

With this, more than 26 lakh Moderna doses have been suspended in Japan as of now. On August 26, the country had withheld 16.3 lakh doses of the vaccine after foreign materials were found in 5.6 lakh vials.

The recent instances of contamination of the shots were reported from the Gunma prefecture near Tokyo and the prefecture of Okinawa in the southern part of the country.

In Gunma, a tiny black substance was found in a Moderna vial, AFP quoted an unidentified official as saying. In Okinawa, black substances were seen in multiple syringes and a vial, and a pink substance was reportedly seen in another syringe.

Moderna’s domestic distributor Takeda Pharmaceutical on Monday told the agency that an investigation was going on into the matter.

On June 28, Japan’s health ministry said that two people died after taking Moderna doses from a batch that was suspended, according to CNN.

However, Takahiro Kinoshita, vice-chair of vaccine information group Cov-Navi, was quoted as saying by AFP that it was unlikely that contamination of the vaccination would have directly led to the sudden deaths.

“If the contaminated substances were dangerous enough to cause death for some people, probably many more people would have suffered from some symptoms after the vaccination,” he noted.

He, however, said that there was a need for further investigation to assess the harm of the doses in question.

Till Monday, Japan has administered 12,45,34,483 Covid-19 vaccine doses. According to a count by Reuters, that figure would cover 49.3% of the population, assuming every person needs two doses.

Last week, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the country’s vaccination pace will be slightly hit due to contamination risk. Japan had aimed to fully vaccinate 60% of its population by end of September.

The country’s health ministry said that it will procure alternative doses to avoid disruption in its vaccination programme, according to Al-Jazeera.

On Monday, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Japan increased to 14,60,046, with 1,53,953 new cases being reported in the past week, according to The Japan Times.