Experts warn of possible shortages of syringes for COVID-19 vaccine

Some experts have warned that syringes for a future COVID-19 vaccine could face the same supply issues as N95 masks and other personal protective equipment, USA Today reported. 

Rick Bright, PhD,  former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, wrote in a May 5 whistleblower report that the U.S. would need as many as 850 million syringes for the COVID-19 vaccine when it's developed. That would be enough to give every American two shots of the vaccine and handle increased demand for flu shots. 

At the time Dr. Bright submitted the report, the U.S. had stockpiled 15 million syringes. 

Around the same time, Peter Navarro, the U.S. director of trade and manufacturing policy, wrote in a memo to the coronavirus task force: "Our current inventory of these supplies is limited, and under current capabilities, it would take up to two years to produce this amount of specialized safety needles. We may find ourselves in a situation where we have enough vaccine, but no way to deliver all of it," according to USA Today. 

As of July 2, the U.S. has signed at least $260 million in contracts for production of syringes, according to USA Today. HHS has contracted with four companies to produce at least 820 million syringes, with 420 million to be delivered by the end of this year and the rest in 2021. 

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