Danish nurses get two extra doses from each vaccine vial

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish nurses get two extra doses from each vaccine vial
Health personnel are vaccinated at a hospital in Aalborg on Sunday. Photo: Region Nordjylland Lars Horn/Ritzau Scanpix

Health staff in Denmark have been getting as many as two extra doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine out of each five-dose vial, meaning the country might be able to vaccinate as many as 40% more people than expected with the first vaccine deliveries.


Each vial can contain as much as 2.2ml of vaccine, and each vaccine requires just 0.3ml, which means that if there has been no spillage during  the filling of a vial, it can contain 2.1ml, enough for seven doses. 
Jonas Egebart, Deputy Medical Director at North Zealand Hospital, reported the good news over Twitter on Sunday. 
"Good vaccine news: In most cases we get seven doses drawn from one vial. That is up to 40 percent more than the five doses we originally expected," he wrote. 
The Danish Health Authority recommends that doctors and nurses use any extra doses they can get out of the vials they receive. 
Leif Heiselberg, 79, a resident at an elderly care home in Odense on the island of Funen, was the first person in Denmark to receive the vaccine on Sunday morning. 
Henrik Ullum, the director of Denmark's infectious diseases agency, said on Monday that no one had yet suffered any complications after being vaccinated.
"It all well according to plan. We sent 9,750 vaccines out to all five regions, and we have not received any feedback that there have been problems with logistics or of side effects, so it has gone well," he told the Ritzau news agency. 


On Monday evening, an additional 38,000 vaccine doses will be delivered to Denmark ahead of the full scale start of vaccinations on Tuesday. 
"We are basically continuing the work that got off to a good start yesterday," Ullum said. "Initially, we will continue [concentrating on] nursing homes and with frontline staff in the hospitals, and gradually we will expand further. 
"But in the first instance, it is the elderly and vulnerable and health professionals who will get the upcoming doses."
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires recipients to be given two doses, with a three week interval. The second round of vaccinations, after which recipients will have immunity against coronavirus, will be given from January 17th. 


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