UPDATE - Japanese Vaccine Minister Determined To Get All 6 Doses From Pfizer Vials

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UPDATE - Japanese Vaccine Minister Determined to Get All 6 Doses From Pfizer Vials

TOKYO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th February, 2021) The Japanese minister in charge of COVID-19 vaccination said Tuesday he was determined to get enough special syringes needed to get all six doses from a Pfizer vial despite supply shortages.

"It is a valuable vaccine and we are not going to waste it," Taro Kono told a news conference.

The US drug maker says so-called zero-dead space syringes are required to get an extra dose from a vial. Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato warned earlier that lack of special syringes would mean that many valuable doses would be discarded.

Japan prepares to kick off its belated vaccine rollout on Wednesday after receiving the first batch of 400,000 Pfizer vaccines last Friday.

Some 40,000 frontline health workers in the priority group will be inoculated.

Pfizer said in January it expected users of its vaccine to be able to obtain full six doses from a vial, instead of the initial five, but only with the right equipment. This raised concerns that Pfizer would retrospectively charge governments for the extra dose or count its contractual obligation fulfilled ahead of time.

The demand for zero-dead volume syringes, which leave little to no vaccine trapped between the plunger and the needle, spiked after the announcement, leading to a supply crunch.

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