By Matthew Roscoe • 24 January 2021 • 14:36
Photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash
THOUSANDS of Pfizer Vaccine Doses Are Being Lost in Spain Due to Inadequate Syringes
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepted a change in the Pfizer vaccine leaflet on January 8, and since then six doses can be extracted from the vials, instead of five, if you have the appropriate material.
The new technical data sheet says that the vials contain 6 doses of 0.3 ml of vaccine and that, to extract all of them, syringes with a ‘low dead volume’ must be used. Dead volume is the space between the needle and the plunger of the syringe. The smaller that space, the less dose is lost. The ideal syringes are the 1 ml syringes, the typical ones for insulin, but in this case, graduated to 0.1 ml.
Despite the fact that the Ministry of Health notified the communities, last June, to stockpile syringes with dead space, not all have obtained sufficient quantities and, therefore, they are not being able to take advantage of the sixth dose of the vials.
Regarding how this change in the vaccine’s technical sheet is going to affect the contracts that have already been signed, Pfizer has reiterated that the agreements reached are by dose and not by vials and that, although it is negotiating with the EU when/if a modification can be agreed upon, it will affect the number of vials that still have to be dispensed.
Europe has bought 600 million doses from Pfizer. Spain has 60 million.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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