The small vials used to deliver the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine contain more than the expected five doses – and that’s okay.
The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday night that it was aware of reports that the vials had given six, sometimes seven, doses and that it was acceptable to use all doses of all vials.
“Currently, in view of the public health emergency, the FDA advises that it is acceptable to use all the full doses (sixth or even seventh) available from each vial until the issue is resolved,” the agency said. he said in a tweet.
According to experts, it is common for vials containing the vaccine to be filled in excess of the labeled amount.
The FDA added it is important not to mix any residual vaccine that does not contain a total of 0.3 milliliters, as the vials do not contain a preservative.
Pfizer said in an email that it is working with the FDA on the matter.
The extra doses are a bit of good news for the current Pfizer vaccine supply, indicating that current shipments are able to vaccinate more people than originally thought.
Dr. David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner, said on Wednesday’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” that this is not a flaw in the manufacture and preparation of vaccines.
“It’s not wrong,” he said.
“It’s not negligence. It’s the design of vials,” he added.
Marketing of Pfizer’s vaccine first began last week after the FDA granted it emergency approval. Since then, many states have received their first allocations and have begun vaccinating health workers.