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Japan’s vaccination plan hits snag over syringe problem 

  • February 10, 2021
  • , All national papers
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All national papers wrote that due to a lack of syringes capable of extracting the final dose from COVID-19 vaccine vials supplied by Pfizer, the country may not be able to inoculate as many people as previously projected. While the GOJ had secured Pfizer doses for 72 million people this year based on the assumption that each vial could provide six doses, the Health Ministry has reportedly discovered that syringes that are used predominantly at local hospitals and clinics do not have low dead space, which minimizes the amount of vaccine left in the syringe after use. This means that the vial yields only five doses—enough for 60 million people. “It is extremely difficult to secure low dead space syringes,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato told the press. “We will inform the local governments that each vial yields only five doses instead of six as previously planned.”   


In related stories, Asahi and Nikkei wrote that according to a poll of local governments taken by the ruling LDP about issues related to COVID-19 vaccination, many of them have run into difficulties securing sufficient numbers of doctors and nurses to administer vaccines. The municipalities also reportedly raised concern about whether enough vaccines can be made available without delay.  

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