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Feb 16, 2021
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Why is Japan going to throw away some of the Pfizer vaccine?

In Japan, part of the vaccine doses of the American manufacturer Pfizer will be thrown away. The reason for the impossibility of using all doses of the drug was the lack of special syringes, reported on February 16 Secretary General of the Cabinet of Ministers of the country Katsunobu Kato

The Pfizer vaccine was approved in Japan on Sunday, February 14, Reuters reported. The start of vaccination is scheduled for February 17. First of all, 40 thousand doctors will receive the vaccination. In the future, vaccination will be available to the Japanese over the age of 65, then to people with chronic diseases, after which access to the drug will be opened for employees of nursing homes.

In total, the country with a population of 126 million people signed contracts for the purchase of 314 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from manufacturers Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna. This amount of drugs should be enough for 157 million people.

What special syringes are needed for the Pfizer vaccine?

According to the manufacturer, one bottle of COVID-19 vaccine is designed for six injections. However, to extract all six doses, special syringes are required that retain a small volume of solution after injection. These are syringes with a small “dead” space and narrow plungers that are capable of pushing out the remaining drug. Conventional syringes, which have been prepared for the vaccination campaign in the country, can only give five injections. As Kato explained, the rest of the drug will have to be disposed of. This could mean that only 60 million people will receive the 144 million doses of Pfizer vaccine purchased, up from the planned 72 million.

At the moment, the Japanese government has asked medical device manufacturers to increase the production of special syringes. “We are still trying to get these special syringes,” Katsunobu Kato said February 16.

How will the vaccination campaign be carried out in Japan?

First of all, up to 40 thousand medical workers will receive the coronavirus vaccine in Japan, whose condition will be carefully monitored to detect any side effects. In mid-March, another 3.7 million doctors will be able to get vaccinated. By early April, the vaccination record will open to 36 million people aged 65 years and older, and in the future – to more than 8 million patients with chronic diseases and 7.5 million people aged 60 to 64 years. The rest of the Japanese will be able to receive the vaccine around July.

There are contraindications. Be sure to consult your doctor.

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