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Specialty Syringe for Pfizer Vaccine is Short on Supply, Manufacturer Says

It can squeeze an extra dose from a single vial.
by Agence France Presse
13 hours ago
Photo/s: Shutterstock

NEW YORK -- A shortage of speciality syringes is challenging plans to get an extra dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech coronavirus vaccine out of its vial, medical device giant Becton Dickinson (BD) said.

"Low dead space syringes" can be used to extract six doses instead of five from vials containing the companies' vaccine, but a BD spokesman told AFP on Saturday there is a supply crunch for the syringes and no easy way to address it.

"Low dead space syringes are niche products and there has... traditionally been minimal market demand based on health care provider needs," the spokesman said.

"Because of this, those products have limited production capacity, and it would take time to increase production capacity of these device."


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However, that quest would be made more difficult if a lack of the speciality syringes wastes the extra shot of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, which along with Moderna's vaccine is one of two inoculations against the virus authorized in the United States.

When BD began working with U.S .officials last spring, "there was no emphasis placed on low dead space syringes, so other devices took priority when production was ramped up to meet COVID vaccination needs," the spokesman said.

The company "is proactively collaborating with the US government to discuss capabilities for low dead space devices," he said. 

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