Do we have sufficient Syringes to deliver Covid-19 vaccines?

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The global pandemic response has been stymied by one supply shortfall after another, from N95 masks, Vitamins, Immunity Boosters, and covid-19 tests and vaccine deployment will be no exception. Meeting demand will likely be challenged by shortages of shot-giving equipment like glass vials and supplies to maintain cold storage chains, not to mention the raw vaccine materials themselves.

Are we planning to do anything about the syringes? As we will be require them in equal quantity. The world uses about 16 billion syringes every year and is required to scale up quickly to meet vaccine demand.

Do we have enough stockpiles and orders on the books, if not then be prepared for a looming shortage of syringes (the plastic tube with a piston that is attached to a needle and used to draw or inject fluids), it is already estimated that “For phase 1 distribution anywhere in the world, we shouldn’t face syringe shortages,” said Prashant Yadav, a senior fellow who studies global health supply chains at the Center for Global Development. “For that we have enough manufactured, stockpiled, or on order.”

Governments will have to proactively place more orders, starting immediately, to meet demand months down the line.

After a government whistleblower told Congress in May that the US had only 15 million syringes stockpiled, a number of large federal contracts went out to manufacturers, including an order for more than 280 million syringes from Becton Dickinson and Co, the world’s top needle producer, and a $600 million loan to ApiJect, a startup that produces disposable injection devices. Canada also placed a large order with BD.

China, India, and Brazil should be able to satisfy their syringe demand with supply from domestic production facilities, Yadav said, and developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere will be able to tap the supply of 1 billion syringes the World Health Organization plans to make available over the next year.

But while the total supply of syringes shouldn’t be a problem, the timing could be: If more countries don’t start to place orders now for what they’ll need in the latter half of 2021, broader phases of the vaccine rollout could be gummed up. India, for example, doesn’t yet have sufficient syringe contracts placed to supply its 1.3 billion people. It’s unclear if the pace at which they want to vaccinate and the pace at which syringes will become available will match.

Hopefully world leaders will take some positive reinforcement regarding syringes.

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