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FDA says Pfizer vaccine vials contain extra doses, boosting US supply

Published on 17/12/20 at 10:27am

The FDA has announced that extra doses contained in Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine vials could expand America’s supply of the jab by up to 40%.

Vials of the US-based company’s vaccine were expected to contain only five doses, but pharmacists have found that each vial could provide up to seven.

The FDA yesterday assured pharmacists that the extra doses could be used, a change that would prevent the waste of leftover vaccine and significantly increase the US’ supply of the jab.

The agency tweeted: “At this time, given the public health emergency, FDA is advising that it is acceptable to use every full dose obtainable (the sixth, or possibly even a seventh) from each vial, pending resolution of the issue.

“However, since the vials are preservative-free, it is critical to note that any further remaining product that does not constitute a full dose should not be pooled from multiple vials to create one.”

Any available extra doses of the jab will be precious to the US, which reached the grim milestone of 300,000 coronavirus-related deaths this Monday, and sees cases continue to surge.

However, Pfizer has since warned in a statement that the amount of vaccine left over in a vial after five doses have been given can vary depending on the type of needles and syringes used.

It said: “At this time, we cannot provide a recommendation on the use of the remaining amount of vaccine from each vial. Vaccinators need to consult their institution’s policies for the use of multidose vials.”

The news comes after the Trump administration last week declined Pfizer’s offer to provide America with additional doses of the coronavirus vaccine in the second quarter of 2021, on top of the 100 million doses already secured.

According to Politico, the Trump administration is now negotiating with Pfizer to obtain more doses, but additional vaccines may not be available until the summer of next year.

Darcy Jimenez

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