Short On Special Syringes, Japan May Waste Millions Of Pfizer Vaccine Doses

A mobile phone screen displays an image of Corowa-kun the mascot of an online chatbot set up to answer questions about Covid 19 vaccines in Japan

Their household contacts will be the next priority, followed by healthcare and essential workers, along with most at-risk groups.

On Friday, meanwhile, NHS England said people aged 65 to 69 can now have a COVID vaccine in England if Global Positioning System have done all they can to reach those at higher risk.

"The vaccine is important for protecting our health, our economy, our current freedoms", she said.

The prime minister said she expected there would be very good uptake of the vaccine among border workers.

A nurse prepares syringes for a coronavirus vaccination drill in Kawasaki on January 27.

"It's going to take all the year to reach everyone".

National leader Judith Collins and ACT leader David Seymour led the charge in hammering the Government, with multiple press statements, on why the rollout was taking so long, especially after Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said New Zealand would be "at the front of the queue" to get the jab.

"Government representatives have been in conversations with Pfizer on a constant basis for the last few weeks".

Pfizer's vaccine is sold in vials containing six doses, which require a special low dead-space syringe, designed with a narrow plunger that can push out the last dose.

He said 750,000 courses are expected over the first three-quarters of this year.


The bulk of government freezers are located in Auckland, with some others in Christchurch, where some of the initial batches will be transferred.

Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said pregnant women should consult their GP if they have concerns over getting vaccinated. It's pleasing to be receiving doses this early in quarter one.

The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine received final approval from the Government earlier this week, and an information campaign to encourage people to get inoculated will begin next week.

The first batch of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is set to arrive in New Zealand next week, subject to transportation plans and quality temperature control.

UNICEF announced today the signing of an agreement with Pfizer on behalf of the COVAX Facility for the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine through 2021.

Japan has secured 144m shots of the Pfizer vaccine - enough for 72 million people - on the assumption that each vial contained six doses.

The Pfizer vaccine will first be rolled out to border and frontline workers, which include nurses, cleaners and security staff at managed isolation facilities.

A Japanese health ministry official said when the contract was made, there was no certainty that one bottle could be used for six shots.

The news took the bloc - now under fire over its sluggish vaccine rollout- by surprise.

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