Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

Syringe shortage hampers Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination roll out

TOKYO – Japan is scrambling to secure special syringes to maximize the number of COVID-19 vaccine shots used from each vial, but manufacturers are struggling to ramp up production quickly, raising fears that millions of doses could go waste.

Japan, with a population of 126 million, last month signed a contract with Pfizer Inc to procure 144 million doses of its vaccine, or enough for 72 million people, with the vaccination campaign set to start on Wednesday.

One vial is meant for six shots, Pfizer says, but it takes special syringes that retain a low volume of solution after an injection to extract six doses, while only five shots can be taken with standard syringes that the government has stored up in preparation for the inoculation drive.

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

He did not directly answer questions when asked last week whether the shortage meant the number of shots Japan can administer would be reduced.

Both a Pfizer Japan spokeswoman and a Japanese health ministry official declined to say whether the contract to supply Japan with 144 million doses of vaccine by the end of the year is based on six doses being taken from each vial.

Inoculating its population swiftly is a top priority for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government as he is determined to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer after the Games were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an bid to minimize the amount of vaccine left unused in syringes and vials, the government is asking medical equipment manufacturers to boost output of the low dead-space syringes, but there are doubts whether that can be done quickly enough.

Nipro Corp, which runs a Thailand plant capable of making 500,000 units a month, said it planned to boost its monthly capacity to a few million, but that it would take up to five months to reach that goal.

“We are getting a request from the health ministry and we need to take some steps. But it’s not something we can do overnight. It’s another four to five months before we can ramp up sharply,” a Nipro spokeswoman said.

Another major Japanese medical gear maker Terumo Corp said it had started developing syringes fit for extracting six doses from a vial, but that it was too early to say when it can start commercial output.

Although daily cases have been in decline in recent weeks in Japan after peaking in early January, Tokyo and nine other prefectures are still under the coronavirus state of emergency.

Japan has seen cases total around 418,000, with 7,042 deaths, according to public broadcaster NHK. – Reuters

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Investing

Almost one in five UK workers say they are likely to change jobs in the next 12 months as they seek better pay and...

Investing

Around 57 per cent of van owners feel discouraged from going electric due to a lack of charging points, according to a survey published...

Investing

Business and cycling groups have urged the government to reform its cycle to work scheme so it can be used by lower-paid and self-employed...

Investing

Beer drinkers could soon find it difficult to buy their favourite bottled beverage because of a shortage of glassware triggered by soaring energy costs,...

Economy

  Spotlight is BusinessWorld’s sponsored section that allows advertisers to amplify their brand and connect with BusinessWorld’s audience by enabling them to publish their...

Economy

Notice of Annual Stockholders’ Meeting Notice is hereby given that the Annual Stockholders Meeting will be held on Monday, June 20, 2022 at 8:30...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Investing

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Investing

As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.