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EU is asked to approve extra dose from Pfizer vaccine vials

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PRAGUE/ROME (Reuters) – The European Union was asked on Tuesday to enable an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech to be taken from every vial, a observe allowed elsewhere that might make scarce provides go additional.

Medical employee prepres Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as Latvia begins vaccinations in opposition to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19), on the hospital in Ventspils, Latvia December 28, 2020. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Experts say it is attainable to receive six doses from every vial, greater than the 5 authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis stated he had raised the matter with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen with a view to looking for EMA clearance for the extra shot as quickly as attainable.

The vaccine, made by Pfizer of the United States and the German biotech startup BioNTech, is the one one to win EU approval up to now, and is already being administered.

But provides are tight and rising coronavirus infections are stretching hospitals to the restrict.

BioNTech stated every vial was assured to yield 5 doses, however that it was attainable, with the proper needle and syringe, to extract a sixth.

“We are in discussions with regulatory authorities whether and how the sixth dose, as well as the required needles or syringes for such a low-dead-volume system, could be made available,” a BioNTech spokesperson stated.

Italian regulators have already authorised the drawing of six doses, overriding EMA steering for the EU as a complete.

Similar approvals have been issued by regulators within the United States, Britain, Switzerland and Israel – which all made an earlier start to their vaccination campaigns.

Soren Brostrom, head of the Danish Health Authority, stated it was even attainable to draw a seventh dose from some Pfizer vials, and that it may be possible to vaccinate greater than the 250,000 individuals envisaged within the first two months of Denmark’s marketing campaign.

The EU has signed offers to purchase a complete of 2 billion vaccine doses, which might be distributed to member states in proportion to their populations. The EMA didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Additional reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, Douglas Busvine and Josephine Mason; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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