Why do some people think that Japan is throwing away millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses?
Maybe because they kind of are…
Did Japan Throw Away Millions of COVID-19 Vaccine Doses?
Yes, but the real story is likely different from what you are imagining from the above headlines. After all, they aren’t throwing out vials of COVID-19 vaccines! Instead, they aren’t able to take advantage of the fact that those vials contain an extra dose of vaccine if you use specialized, low-dead space syringes.
“The country said last month that it had secured doses for 72 million people based on the assumption that each vial could provide six shots. But without low dead space syringes, which minimize the amount of vaccine left in the syringe after use, a vial ends up yielding only five doses — enough for 60 million people.”Fewer people in Japan to get Pfizer vaccine due to syringe shortage
So by using regular syringes, they are technically throwing out million of doses of COVID-19 that are left in the dead space of syringes that they have used to vaccinate and protect people in Japan.
The dead space is the space between the needle and the plunger.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, folks were already talking about low dead space needles and syringes, because in addition to vaccines, medications and blood might remain in the dead space after an injection. In the case of high cost medications, using low dead space syringes can help control costs. But even more important, if IV drug users share high dead space needles, they risk spreading blood-borne viruses!
The bottom line?
Japan and everyone else needs more low dead space syringes and needles to maximize use of the COVID-19 vaccines that we have. And we need more COVID-19 vaccines to get everyone vaccinated and protected.
More on COVID-19 Vaccines
- I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in the COVID-19 Vaccine
- The Truth About COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID-19 Vaccination Questions and Answers
- Protocols for Managing Needlestick Injuries
- Ingested vs. Injected Vaccine Myths
- Which Vaccines can be Given SQ?
- Which Vaccines Can Be Given IM?
- Where Will Your Kids Get Their Shots?
- Minimizing COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Variability
- CDC – Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States
- Fewer people in Japan to get Pfizer vaccine due to syringe shortage
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Low dead space needles and syringes (video)
- Insulin syringe dead space is costly
- Vial usage, device dead space, vaccine wastage, and dose accuracy of intradermal delivery devices for inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV)
- Estimated Cost of Injectable Medication Waste Attributable to Syringe Dead Space
- Botulinum Toxin Therapy: Is Syringe Type Related to Cost-Effectiveness?
- Inadvertent overdosing of neonates as a result of the dead space of the syringe hub and needle