The US drug watchdog FDA states that some vials of Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s corona vaccine contain more content than initially intended and that those doses can be used, reports news site Politico.


As a result, more people can be vaccinated with the current amount of vaccine fluid than expected.

A bottle should contain five doses, but pharmacists found that some bottles have enough for a sixth or even a seventh dose. This could possibly be used to administer up to 40 percent more doses with the current quantity.

The FDA said on Wednesday that the extra doses could be used just fine. The watchdog thus provided clarification to pharmacists who were wondering whether they should throw away the leftovers because otherwise, they would violate the agency’s rules.

“Given the public health emergency, the FDA recommends that it is acceptable to use any available full dose,” said the watchdog.

Manufacturers typically fill vaccine vials with a little more vaccine liquid to account for any spillage or other waste, pharmaceutical expert Erix Fox (University of Utah) explains to Politico. Fox does state that it is unusual for a bottle to contain an entire extra dose or even more.

“The amount of vaccine fluid left in the vial after taking five doses can vary, depending on the injection needles and syringes used,” said a Pfizer spokesperson.

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