2 die after receiving suspended Moderna vaccine

Japan's health ministry says two men died after receiving a dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine that was among batches whose use was later suspended following the detection of contaminants.

The ministry says it remains unclear if the deaths are related to the inoculations.

The two men, aged 30 and 38, received their shots on August 22 and 15, respectively. Both of them died three days after their vaccinations.

The ministry says both of them had no underlying health conditions, and the causes of their deaths are not clear.

Foreign substances believed to be metallic particles have been found in unopened vials of the Moderna vaccine at multiple vaccination sites in Japan since mid-August.

The health ministry has halted the use of 1.63 million doses of the vaccine made at the same factory and during the same period as vials that contained foreign substances. They consist of vials in three lots -- one from which the foreign substances have been found, and two others from which no such substances have been found.

The ministry says the doses the two men received were not from those with the lot number where contamination has been found.