Some vials of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s Covid-19 vaccine may contain usable extra doses, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
Each vial is meant to vaccinate five people, but some of the initial supplies distributed in the US this week reportedly hold enough solution for six or seven doses. Health-care providers can use all the liquid in each vial, though they shouldn’t combine vaccine from separate vials, FDA spokeswoman Abby Capobianco said in a statement.
“At this time, given the public health emergency, FDA is advising that it is acceptable to use every full dose obtainable (the sixth, or possibly even a seventh) from each vial, pending resolution of the issue,” Capobianco said.
Pfizer can’t provide a recommendation, spokeswoman Sharon Castillo said in an email. Once the formula is diluted, the multidose vial contains enough vaccine for at least five shots, she said. How much is left after five shots are given can vary depending on the type of needles and syringes used, she said.
Extra vaccine must be discarded if there isn’t enough left to administer the correct dose, she said. Pfizer and the FDA say they are working together to address the issue.