A medical worker holds a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at Tokyo Medical Center. Photo: REUTERS file
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Japan to allow use of insulin syringes for COVID-19 vaccines

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The move could speed up the country's vaccine rollout ...

No country larger than Japan is vaccinating at a pace as slow as Japan.

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

25 ( +25 / -0 )

we get new excuses everyday.

i would laugh if my family weren't living here.

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Yet, the recommend number of doses from 1 vile is 6 , not 7.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Right, what does that mean?

Recommendation is 6 doses, Japan wants to make it 7?

So, are we not getting the full dose as it should be?

Something is wrong here (or maybe I don't understand).

26 ( +26 / -0 )

One vial is meant for six shots, Pfizer says,

Source (Feb. 16 article): https://rikiweb.com/category/national/syringe-shortage-hampers-japan%27s-covid-19-vaccination-roll-out

Yeah I don't get it either.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Great news if true

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

And they'll start using them as early as next year...

21 ( +21 / -0 )

It’s just Japanese government trying to prove how special it is, down side again the Japanese people are expected to Shogani accept the face saving exercise. Too little too late too wish washy it’s a mantra.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Hope this doesnt lead to pfizer relabelling the vials to contain 7 doses

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

South Korea, which starting vaccinating even after Japan, has already vaccinated more than seven times what this nation has, and is set to vaccinate far, far more. Meanwhile, Japan continues to be the slowest in the developed world. Par for the course in most things, but you'd think with the Olympics coming they might want to at least PRETEND to pick up the pace more.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Doesn't matter much, I will give it about a week until another " problem" presents itself as a reason for Japan,s snail pace vaccination drive.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

For those that don't understand, basically when you finish injection there's usually a little left in the syringe, the so called 7-shot syringe have very little "dead space" such that with the miniscule amount saved from all the 6 shots you have enough left for the 7th shot.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

......truly beggars belief.....this sheer lunacy with respect to syringes, only 5 doses, then we ""discover"" there are 6 per vial.....then by some """""miracle"""" Japan miraculously has NOW found a syringe that can pull SEVEN doses......from a vial of SIX doses!!!!

Why on earth arent people getting fired for all the gross negligence on FULL DISPLAY........

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Will look into it... if....

... so no more than a rumour, idea or suggestion.

Needs to be discussed further, considered, a consensus developed, then approval.

...with production ready to begin as early as the end of this month...

Then QA checks, packaging, distribution, delivery, etc...

The roll out of these syringes is not going to be quick.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Bad news = bad on JT

Good news = bad on JT

Can't win here.

On a serious note, insulin syringes have a different design from traditional syringes and a shorter needle and dead space syringes which allows it to get more out of a injection. If you look at the actual designs and understand the differences between the three you can see how they work, it|s good news overall.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

This type of Insulin syringes have such low lost volume because the needle is part of the body of the syringe (you cannot change or remove it), without dead space for left overs, but on the other hand they are designed for subcutaneous administration so the length of the needle is less than 1cm, the Pfizer vaccine is delivered by intra-muscular injection so it can be quickly absorbed and distributed, the needle recommended for that is at least 2.5cm.

In the recommendations of the vaccine it is specifically said to avoid these syringes because of this, so I am extremely interested in how the Uji-Tokushukai Medical Center confirmed the delivery did not change.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

On a serious note, insulin syringes have a different design from traditional syringes and a shorter needle and dead space syringes which allows it to get more out of a injection. If you look at the actual designs and understand the differences between the three you can see how they work, it|s good news overall.

Ok then please explain how you get 7 doses from a bottle that is supposed to only have 6?

Using a different syringe is one thing, not giving the proscribed dose is totally different.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

In the recommendations of the vaccine it is specifically said to avoid these syringes

Hmm now im very interested as well

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I have a great idea.

Use a 12 dose syrange. And only give half the recommended dose to each person. After all Japanese usually weigh less, so the experts, Suga and Kono approved the plan.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Seriously, what is wrong with the people running this country?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Ok then please explain how you get 7 doses from a bottle that is supposed to only have 6?

Originally from a bottle of 5 doses.

Lots of wastage when using regular syringes, left inside the vial and syringes themselves, the so called dead space

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It is easy to tell that real medical experts are not invited to the discussions.

Insulin syringes means subcutaneous injection.

Insulin syringes nowadays are very short.

All vaccines (not just covid) should be administered intramuscularly.

Really terrible idea destined to fail. Try again, Kono

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I bet if they used smaller and smaller syringes, they could "vaccinate" the entire population of Japan from a single vial.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@Badge

insulin syringes have a different design from traditional syringes and a shorter needle and dead space syringes which allows it to get more out of a injection

Interesting but to my mind (and I don't know about this stuff so could very well be mistaken) the amount left in the dead space doesn't stay in the syringe 'adding up' over the course of the initial 6 shots to accumulate enought to provide a sufficient amount for a full 7th dose. So I still don't get it. If you have a link to something that would explain it that would be great! Thanks.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

after 2 months of receiving the vaccine japan has done only 40,000 people.

most of my relatives, spread in different countries got their first shot already.

What shall i tell them when they ask me if i got my shot?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

144million doses with 20 million syringes. Sounds like healthy medical practice.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

for those not following —

each vaccine vial leaves enough for the one extra shot an insulin syringe could use. The syringes offered by the drug maker can’t access all the medicine.

Japan is being helpful here as no one is getting less.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I bet if they used smaller and smaller syringes, they could "vaccinate" the entire population of Japan from a single vial.

No need to use small syringes for that, just dont fill the big syringes

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The syringes offered by the drug maker can’t access all the medicine.

Japan is being helpful here as no one is getting less.

How come no other country came to this realization that you can get 7 out of a 5/6 dose vial? Seems like, given the 16% "free" vaccine, this should be front page new worldwide.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

What shall i tell them when they ask me if i got my shot?

Laugh at them like you belong in an asylum, then cry, then tell them..."It's Japan" And if they dont "get it" well, I guess you are sol.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'm pretty sure a JT poster suggested using insulin syringes when this mess up was initially reported. Can't remember who - but well done!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Last week, Uji-Tokushukai Medical Center in Kyoto Prefecture, western Japan, said it had found that insulin syringes, which do not have as much dead space meaning less fluid is left in the needle after a shot, could be used to extract seven shots of the Pfizer vaccine per vial.

Good job Uji-Tokushukai! Now if the EU will just obey the contract.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Wow apparently its not just insulin syringes. Heres something ffrom the other JT:

The health ministry last week approved a low dead space syringe developed by Terumo Corp. that can also yield seven shots per vial of the Pfizer vaccine, with production ready to begin as early as the end of this month.

The medical equipment maker expects to manufacture 20 million of the syringes, which were designed using know-how from the 2009 swine flu pandemic, in the fiscal year beginning in April, according to people familiar with the matter.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/03/09/national/science-health/7-shot-insulin-syringes-covid19-vaccines/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ok, the first question is which manufacturer of diabetes syringes is the biggest donor to the LDP, and who's the Dentsu go-between who is waiting for his slice of the miracle mathematics here?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There's a potential danger here: in Queensland in one nursing home one doctor who hadn't done the vaccination training for this was putting four shots at once from a multiple shot syringe into a few patients. Not a good idea!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow apparently its not just insulin syringes. Heres something ffrom the other JT:

This information is also included in this article, both syringes are being planned to be used. From now the insulin syringes that are specifically mentioned as something that should be avoided and from next month (hopefully) the Terumo new model of syringes that most likely will be like the insulin ones with the same integrated needle just much longer so it can be used for IM injections.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Insulin syringes are designed for subcutaneous injections rather than the intramuscular injections necessary for COVID-19 vaccines, and therefore have shorter needles. This means they may not work for some people, for example those with more fat on their arms.

The government's top spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, said it would be up to hospitals to ensure the vaccines are administered properly, and that the government does not plan to actively advocate the use of insulin syringes.

Ah not for everyone.

Good thing theyll start production of the long needle syringes soon:

The health ministry last week approved a low dead space syringe developed by Terumo Corp that can also yield seven shots per vial of the Pfizer vaccine but has a longer needle, with production ready to begin as early as the end of this month.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes @virusrex, dont wanna read the other article again but theyre probably the same

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zoroto: I bet if they used smaller and smaller syringes, they could "vaccinate" the entire population of Japan from a single vial.

May I suggest we look into homeopathy, a single vial can be used to vaccinate the entire Earth, the problem with homeopathic dilution is that the potency increases the higher the dilution. A potent 200C diluation from 1 vial is enough for 10^400 doses, where we only need 15*10^9.

Just to make sure: this is sarcasm, homeopathy is quackery.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I was reading an article in the New York Times which theorized that more women than men are having adverse reactions to the vaccines because the dosage amounts for women are larger than for men, when a woman's body mass is taken into account. It is interesting to consider that a "one size fits all" dosage amount may not be best.

Because Japanese men and women have less body mass, on average, than Americans, it might very well be reasonable to give smaller doses to most (not sumo wrestlers) Japanese.

On another note, 2.9 million Americans recently got vaccinated with one shot in a single day. Given that the country's population is about 330 million, that means we are approaching a rate of 1% vaccinated per day. "The light at the end of the tunnel," and all that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I was reading an article in the New York Times which theorized that more women than men are having adverse reactions to the vaccines because the dosage amounts for women are larger than for men, when a woman's body mass is taken into account. It is interesting to consider that a "one size fits all" dosage amount may not be best.

That is one possibility, but that may be not just because of the weight, inflammatory reactions are different between men and women, the prognosis for many kind of infections (like mumps or bacterial encephalitis) depends very importantly on the sex of the patient. Maybe for the general population they don't have data on weight, just on sex, but for the volunteers of the clinical trials it should be enough information to correlate weight to adverse reactions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We don't want your vaccination anyway so jam it.......................its all about control , it's zero about protecting you

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Blaming EU for the slow roll out? Last time I check there are almost 2M doses in Japan already and less than 50,000 used. Still Pfizer’s fault?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I strictly don’t recommend to take more doses out of the vials than those are intended for. There are reasons for the number of doses given by the producers. Although you don’t want to hear or understand it....lol

0 ( +3 / -3 )

We don't want your vaccination anyway so jam it.......................its all about control , it's zero about protecting you

Nope, according to the best available science it is about protection, it is as much about control as seat belts.

I strictly don’t recommend to take more doses out of the vials than those are intended for. There are reasons for the number of doses given by the producers. Although you don’t want to hear or understand it....lol

As long as you deliver the appropriate volume there is no negative side in getting more doses, this is not about reducing the dose to increase the number of them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I really don't see how the government plans to host the Olympics this year when so much left needs to be done.

It should be postponed, instead of being rushed. We need more people vacinnated before you host such a large event.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If you're really forced to have it, then get the jab on your foot - its a whole lot more manageable, plus the results/impact will be more quicker to determine than an arm jab.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

klausdorthToday  04:27 pm JST

> Something is wrong here (or maybe I don't understand).

One vial contains 0.45 ml of the vaccine. It needs to be diluted with 1.8 ml of saline solution, making it a total of 2.25 ml of injectable solution. The dose needed is 0.3 ml so in theory there are seven and a half doses. As you cannot use half doses, and not even combine them to form a full one, the theoretical maximum is seven doses.

However in practise it depends on what kind of needles and syringes you use. Also depends on the technique of the nurse or doctor injecting it. Most countries do recommend you do not try to make more than six doses out of it. Seven is a stretch but taken in to use in some countries.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Blaming EU for the slow roll out? Last time I check there are almost 2M doses in Japan already and less than 50,000 used. Still Pfizer’s fault?

Being Japan, they are still meeting about the order of the chairs around the meeting table before they have the real meeting to discuss anything.

/s

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So , are they sticking that syringe into more than one persons arm ? If so you better prepare yourselves for an entirely different epidemic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The U.S. has thrown out tens of thousands of viles with another shot in them because the FDA does not allow using the last shot due to possible corruption of the remaining vaccine. It is the law and very few people know about this tragedy. Who knows how many lives would have been saved...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@rdemers

"The U.S. has thrown out tens of thousands of viles with another shot in them because the FDA does not allow using the last shot due to possible corruption of the remaining vaccine."

Got a source you can cite?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The U.S. has thrown out tens of thousands of viles with another shot in them because the FDA does not allow using the last shot due to possible corruption of the remaining vaccine. It is the law and very few people know about this tragedy. Who knows how many lives would have been saved...

If using regular syringes whats left in each vial wont be enough for one dose.

I believe whats not allowed is the pooling together of whats remaining in the vials to make full doses.

This is ive read a common practice with some vaccines but cant be done with particular vaccines that have no preservatives.

Pooling together carries a cannot be ignored chance of contamination or corruption

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, each time a conventional needle is thrown away, it still contains an amount of vaccine in the conical neck section. Six of those add up to what could have been a seventh shot had there been a more efficient needle design.

With the new hypodermic syringes being produced by Terumo Corp, (also in insulin hypodermics) the plunger pushes out every last drop, creating slightly less waste and greater efficiency for the available vaccine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The difference here is vials versus syringes.

Japan isn’t alone in getting an extra shot for people. This has been all over the news in the states.

You have the whole context in the article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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