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Insufficient special syringes may affect Japan’s coronavirus vaccination

Insufficient special syringes may affect Japan's coronavirus vaccination

(Picture says: On December 4, protesters gathered outside Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Tokyo to call on medical staff to strike. Figure/Reuters)

Japan is trying its best to purchase special syringes so that it can extract the largest number of doses from each bottle of coronavirus vaccine, but it is difficult for manufacturers to quickly increase production, which raises concerns that millions of doses of vaccine may be wasted.

According to the report, Japan, with a population of 126 million, signed a contract with Pfizer last month to purchase 144 million doses of vaccines, enough for 72 million people, and vaccination activities are scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

Pfizer said that six doses should be available in each vaccine bottle, but this requires a special low-dead-angle syringe, and ordinary syringe can only draw five doses.

“We are still trying to purchase these special syringes,” Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, said on Tuesday.

When asked last week whether the shortage of syringes meant a reduction in the number of doses that Japan could inoculate, he did not answer directly.

Both Pfizer Japan spokesman and officials of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare refused to disclose whether the contract to provide 144 million doses of vaccine to Japan by the end of this year was based on six doses per bottle.

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