Background: Worldwide morbidity and mortality associated with Covid-19 are severe and ongoing. The Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine is said to be up to 95% effective against severe disease or death. We were able to demonstrate that an additional 9.8% of COVID-19 vaccine doses could theoretically be given if the residual vaccine within the reconstituted Pfizer vials after six doses is extracted was used. This could be achieved by aseptically combining this excess vaccine from multiple vials to achieve full 0.3 ml doses.
Methods: An observational study was conducted in April, 2021, at a mass vaccine site run by a community volunteer organization on Bainbridge Island, Washington. We measured the amount of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that was left in 172 vials after six doses had been withdrawn per Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocol.
Results: A total of 30.68 ml of leftover vaccine was measured and discarded as medical waste. 1,036 doses were given from these vials. An extra 102 doses theoretically could have been given using the residual vaccine in the vials. This would have resulted in 9.8% additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine without requiring new vials.
Conclusion: The ability to combine solution from reconstituted Pfizer vaccine vials to minimize waste and obtain additional doses of vaccine could result in an increase in the number of individuals that could be vaccinated worldwide without additional cost. Further studies to validate our findings are warranted. Clinical trials to study the feasibility, safety and efficacy of protocols using this excess vaccine should be considered.
Published Date: 2021-09-06; Received Date: 2021-08-16