The US pharmaceutical watchdog FDA states that some bottles containing Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s vaccine contain more content than originally intended and that those doses can be used, reports news site Politico. This allows more people to be vaccinated with the current amount of vaccine fluid than expected.
A bottle should contain five doses, but pharmacists noticed that some bottles contain enough for a sixth or even a seventh dose. This could possibly increase doses up to 40% with the current amount.
The FDA said on Wednesday that the extra doses can be used perfectly. The watchdog thus explained to pharmacists who wondered whether they should dispose of the remains because they would otherwise be in breach of the agency’s rules.
“In view of the public health emergency, the FDA recommends that it is acceptable to use any available full dose,” says the watchdog. Producers usually fill vaccine bottles with a little more vaccine fluid to take into account possible spillage or other waste, explains pharmaceutical expert Erix Fox (University of Utah) to Politico. Fox states that it is unusual for a bottle to contain an entire extra dose or even more.
”The amount of vaccine fluid remaining in the bottle after taking five doses may vary depending on the injection needles and syringes used”, argues Pfizer’s spokesman.