Japan Govt Not to Procure Insulin Syringes for COVID-19 Vaccines

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 12 (Jiji Press)--Japanese regulatory reform minister Taro Kono said the government will not procure insulin syringes for the purpose of utilizing them to squeeze more doses from each vial of Pfizer Inc.'s coronavirus vaccine.

The government decided on the policy because concerns were expressed by diabetes sufferers about a shortage of insulin syringes that may result from the possible state procurement for use in COVID-19 vaccinations, Kono, who is in charge of Japan's coronavirus vaccination program, told reporters on Thursday.

Although the government had initially assumed that six doses could be extracted from each vial of the Pfizer vaccine, it came to light later that the syringes the government had secured can draw out only five shots per vial. As insulin syringes can take seven shots from a vial, Kono said Tuesday that the government may consider procuring them if there are extra suppliers.

"We must not create a situation where we run short of insulin syringes for use for their original purpose," Kono said when he visited a venue for coronavirus vaccinations at a hospital in Tokyo on Thursday.

At the same time, the minister said, "If there are extra supplies of insulin syringes, it would be up to each medical institution to decide whether to use them for vaccinations."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press