Accurate spraying: Belgium has 70,000 extra vaccinations

Belgian caregivers can inoculate many more people against the coronavirus thanks to the use of highly accurate syringes. Although a vial of the Pfizer vaccine according to the package leaflet is good for five injections, in Belgium, according to local media, it is possible to remove a sixth dose from the vial in almost all cases.

Het Nieuwsblad writes that the profit is huge. Belgium expects 350,000 doses of coronav vaccine this month. Thanks to the hyperaccurate syringes, a ‘bonus’ of 70,000 inoculations is counted on. We can vaccinate a fifth more people, says Roel Van Giel, chairman of home medical association Domus Medica.

The

fact that a remnant remains in these so-called multidose vials is quite normal. For one shot, exactly 0.3 ml of liquid is needed. When pulling up and injecting, there is always a little loss, part remains in the needle and syringe. In these small amounts, there is a risk that insufficient vaccine remains for the fifth person in the row. To prevent this, Pfizer fills the vials well enough. But where the nurses in other countries are happy if the remainder is enough for a sixth shot, we manage to extract six doses from the bottles as standard. Sometimes even a seventh is possible. Only in case of carelessness cannot do this, says Van Giel.

Good syringes

Our government has bought very good syringes. Because of the form, there is hardly any liquid left behind, says Thomas De Rides of the pharmacy of the University of Leuven. We‘re using them right now, but what if we don’t have them tomorrow? I don‘t think we’re going to be able to use this type of vaccination campaign. The whole world wants them.

In

other places in Europe, too, more people can be vaccinated than expected. In Denmark, according to local media, it is sometimes possible to extract seven doses from a bottle, two more than expected.

Acceptable

The US regulator FDA already acknowledged last month that possibly more doses can be taken from vials than indicated. The drug watchdog then stressed, according to Politico news site, that because of the health crisis, it is acceptable to use any dose that can be obtained. Some pharmacists would not have taken more than five doses from vials as a precaution.