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Special Syringes Could Increase The Number of Vaccine Shots By 20 Percent

Jan 27, 2021

Specialty syringes can help get more doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations from each vial.

While state officials are scrambling to get more vials of the COVID-19 vaccine for Ohioans, medical professionals administering the shots are finding ways to get more doses from each vial.  

Early experience with the Pfizer vaccine showed it was sometimes possible to get a sixth or even a seventh dose from each vial, by using a specific short-draft syringe - which are unfortunately in short supply.  State medical director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff says Ohio clinicians compared notes and came up with a solution.

"It is possible to reliably get that sixth dose using a hybrid model which uses traditional syringes for three or four of the doses, and the less readily available less dead volume,  or low wasted space syringes for the remaining two to three doses.  This approach conserves limited special syringe supply, and gets the job done."

The technique could result in as much as 20% more vaccinations.  Vanderhoff says the state's federal partners will work with Ohio suppliers to spread the technique.