In surprise discovery, FDA says extra doses in COVID-19 vaccine vials may be used

“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,” an FDA spokesperson said.

Updated: December 17, 2020 - 12:05pm

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that extra doses may be utilized from vials containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Pharmacists discovered that vessels containing the vaccine held more than just the five doses they were supposed to include, according to Politico.

“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,” an FDA spokesperson said, according to the Washington Post.

"The amount of vaccine remaining in the multidose vial after removal of 5 doses can vary, depending on the type of needles and syringes used," a Pfizer spokesperson told Politico. "At this time, we cannot provide a recommendation on the use of the remaining amount of vaccine from each vial. Vaccinators need to consult their institution’s policies for the use of multidose vials."

Politico reported that Pfizer and the FDA both have indicated that vaccines should not be combined from more than one vial.