At first, the RIVM and IGJ did not approve. Now, the syringe that allows for a 7th dose from a single vial is in fact allowed to be used. 

First 5, then 6 and now even one more: National institute for health and environment (RIVM) and the The institute for health and youth care (IGJ) approve the withdrawal of 7 doses from a Pfizer-vaccine vial.

It is in fact allowed to withdraw seven doses from a Pfizer-vaccine vial. This is what the RIVM and IGJ reported to ‘Eenvandaag’. Earlier only five doses were allowed to be withdrawn which later turned to six.

Last week, the Inspection reported that it was certainly not the intention to take more than 6 doses from one vial. “It is unwise to take 7 doses from a single vial. You have to work very accurately to be able to take 7 doses from a vial and it is very important that the patients receive the right dose of 0.3ml”, Korrie Louwes (from the IGJ) said.

Possible quicker available vaccines 

After a consultation with the Dutch association of hospital pharmacists (NVZA), the RIVM and IGJ came in an agreement that it is in fact allowed to withdraw a 7th dose. Since it takes technical accuracy to take seven doses from a vial, it is only allowed to take the 7th dose in a hospital environment that meet the criteria of the NVZA for the time being. Still, this decision can mean that possibly thousands of people can be vaccinated earlier.

“In controlled situations it is possible to withdraw 7 vaccines from one Pfizer-vaccine vial using the special ‘zero dead volume’-syringes in hospitals”, Kirsten Schimmel of the NVZA responds, who is glad with the decision of the RIVM and IGZ. “With the guidance of experts from the hospital pharmacies, this can be done safely and responsibly. More vaccines from a vial means more people that can be vaccinated. Every extra vaccine counts.”

Using the narrow syringe, less medicine is left behind which can not be administered.

Syringes for eye mediacation 

By using the syringes that have been ordered by the RIVM it is not possible to take a 7th dose from one vial, since there is a relatively high amount of residual volume that stays behind in the syringe. With a syringe that has zero to none residual volume, a ‘low-dead-space-syringe’, it is in fact possible, the Schootstra brothers of SJJ Solutions told last week.

Until now, the special syringe has only been utilized for eye medication, but according to the brothers the syringe can also be used for the corona vaccines. The brothers told the RIVM and the government about their syringe, but were not able to get a foot in the door. But now the RIVM has released this statement. “We are receiving a lot of requests from hospitals that want to use our syringe for the vaccinations. We are glad the RIVM and IGJ took this step since currently there is still a shortage of vaccines”.