Provide the vaccine with special syringes, to make the most of the doses in each vial

The vaccine against COVID-19 is being administered little by little in Spain. In this nursing home, San Camilo, they managed to vaccinate 280 people by squeezing six doses from each vial, using their own syringes, as explained by nurse Laura Steegmann.

“The syringes we received weren’t worth us”

“The syringes that we received weren’t enough to calculate the sixth dose. These syringes don’t work for us. We did well using our one-milliliter syringes, the insulin ones.”

Extracting a sixth puncture from each vial is only possible with special material. The lack of adequate jeriguillas has wasted thousands of doses of this scarce resource as denounced by the vice secretary of the union of the Association of Physicians and Higher Graduates of Madrid, Angela Hernández.

“Although there was already talk of this since December, as of January 28, what the general directorate of public health has told us is that the sixth dose is being extracted from 90% of the vials. When we asked what happens with the 10 % remaining, we have not received a clear answer. “

Something as simple as a syringe allows to extract up to 20% more of the content of the vials of the vaccine against COVID-19. Getting the right ones has become a matter of national importance, especially now that drug companies are beginning to charge for the extra doses they contain.

The Spanish Ministers of Health and Industry visited the plant of a medical technology manufacturer in Madrid to learn about the progress of syringe production. The regional health services have purchased 25 million special syringes for vaccines and the company is increasing its supply.

Lourdes López, General Manager of the manufacturer BD in Spain and Portugal, points out that the situation is normalizing.

“We are sending supplies. We have a schedule and the syringes will reach the communities as the vaccines arrive.”

But the thousands of wasted doses cannot be recovered.

The Spanish Minister of Health, Carolinan Darias, justifies that they adhered to the medical protocol indicated by the vaccine supplying laboratory, Pfizer

“Pfizer has modified the technical sheet, therefore, it is true that although more doses could be extracted, as the technical sheet said five doses, (the health services) have been adjusting to the technical sheet.”

Spanish health authorities seem to have learned their lesson. They will also participate in the joint purchase of the European Union of suitable syringes for the vaccine. There is no other remedy. Spain will receive 8% fewer vials from Pfizer until the end of February, but with these syringes they will get 10% more doses.