Syringe shortage could threaten COVID vaccination strategies

Syringe shortage could threaten COVID vaccination strategies
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Syringe shortage could threaten COVID vaccination strategies, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A new report has highlighted that there could be a global syringe shortage next year. It is estimated that the deficit could be between one and two billion syringes according to the WHO.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic the various vaccine campaigns across the world have used twice as many syringes as is used in a normal year. This has affected global supplies.


The WHO has predicted that panic buying and hoarding could occur if the production of syringes is not increased. If there are not enough syringes coronavirus vaccination programs could face issues. This could also affect other vaccination programmes across the globe.

Lisa Hedman is the WHO senior advisor to the Division of Access to Medicines and Health Products. Speaking to AFP she explained: “We are raising the real concern that we could have a shortage of immunization syringes, which would in turn lead to serious problems, such as slowing down immunization efforts,”

“Depending on how the vaccine uptake goes, it could be a deficit of anywhere from 1 billion to two billion.”

She added: “it’s pretty clear that a deficit in 2022 of over a billion [needles] could happen if we continue with business as usual.” The WHO recently endorsed the first malaria vaccine. Needle shortages could affect multiple vaccination programs.

Inoculations for polio, measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough are common and vital. According to Hedman, if routine vaccines are delayed people’s health could be affected “for years to come.”

Hedman added: “When you think about the magnitude of the number of injections being given to respond to the pandemic, this is not a place where we can afford shortcuts, shortages or anything short of full safety for patients and healthcare staff.”

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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.


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