Global syringe supply may not meet vaccine demand

The world needs as many as 10 billion syringes for COVID-19 vaccines, and officials in the U.S. say they don't have enough right now, The New York Times reported March 5. 

Wealthier countries, such as the U.S., France and Germany, have invested billions into developing the vaccines, but little investment has gone into syringe manufacturing, according to the Times

New Jersey-based Becton, Dickinson and Co., the world's largest manufacturer of syringes, told the Times it is producing 2,000 syringes each minute to meet orders of more than a billion. 

But not just any syringe can be used to give COVID-19 vaccines. For the Pfizer vaccine, a special syringe is needed to extract an extra dose from the vials. UNICEF said syringes need to be smaller than usual and break if used a second time to prevent spreading disease through reuse, according to the Times

Brazil also restricted exports of syringes and needles in January because it hadn't secured enough for its citizens, the Times reported. 

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