VALENCIA, 17 Feb 2021:
Two Spanish nurses have come up with a way to extract an extra seventh dose from six-dose vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine by removing the remnants of the solution with specialised equipment.
Ana Sola Martin and Natalia Coll from the Clinic Hospital in Valencia said in an interview that by using more precise syringes with a larger dead space — the gap between the plunger and the base of the needle — they were able to maximise usage of the vaccine, which has become “liquid gold” in the bid to end the pandemic.
Martin explained they decided to do “a mathematical calculation” when they realised there was a shortage in the distribution of vaccines coupled with the fact that second doses were urgently needed for health workers and nursing staff.
The nurses said they selected the sort of needle commonly used to administer insulin. “It is much smaller, has more dead space and is much more precise,” Martin said.
Both nurses believe the process could also be applied to vials of Moderna’s vaccine, from which 10 doses are currently being taken.
“We are in the process of verifying this, but when you have a bigger number of doses, the manufacturer has to leave more remnants and therefore you get an extra dose: In the case of Moderna, there are 0.5ml left, not 0.3ml, which is the case with Pfizer’s vaccine,” Martin assessed.