Finnish nurse extracts 7 doses from Pfizer vial

Sari Roos, a nurse working for the City of Helsinki was frustrated after administering the jabs to people as some doses remained in the syringe and needle, especially as the ordered deliveries were slow to arrive. [Shutterstock/lakshmiprasada S]

A Finnish nurse has made headlines by appearing to disprove pharmaceutical company Pfizer wrong with regards to its estimate that every vial of the COVID-19 vaccine is enough for five jabs, by demonstrating that seven people can be vaccinated using one vial.

Sari Roos, a nurse working for the City of Helsinki was frustrated after administering the jabs to people as some doses remained in the syringe and needle, especially as the ordered deliveries were slow to arrive.

Encouraged by her employer, Roos started experimenting and by using the air left in the bottle and a certain type of syringe, she was able to use every single drop of the vaccine and increase the number of jabs per bottle from five to seven.

Roos’ method has now been approved by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and Pfizer. On Thursday Roos will demonstrate to healthcare professionals how her method works in practice. A training video will also be made available.

The method may help other EU countries who are currently struggling with vaccine delays.

The European Medicines Agency recently said in order to extract six doses from a single vial, low dead-volume syringes and/or needles should be used.

El Pais reported in late January that Spanish regions such as Andalusia, Catalonia and Madrid are wasting thousands of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by not injecting patients with the sixth dose contained in the vials. The reason is the lack of precision syringes to do so.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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