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Manufacturers scramble to secure special syringes

TOKYO >> Medical supply manufacturers are working to increase production of special syringes that can more efficiently administer the COVID- 19 vaccine developed by Pfizer.

The syringes can deliver six doses per vial rather than five. Extra space near the tip of a standard syringe collects excess medication, which is discarded when a shot is given. These standard syringes allow for just five doses from each vial of the Pfizer vaccine.

Terumo Corp. has been producing syringes that can extract six doses, but needles are short and cannot be used with Pfizer’s vaccine. At the request of the government, the company has developed a syringe with a longer needle. It will start production of the new syringes after government approval and plans to soon revamp its plant facilities in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Nipro Corp., which is already supplying the government with six-dose syringes, will boost its monthly production at a plant in Thailand from 500,000 units to several million. The increased supply will arrive in Japan in September or October, the company said.

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