As the biggest vaccination campaign in history gets underway, all hands are on deck to secure and supply the billions of syringes needed for the COVID-19 vaccines.
For many of us, it is the biggest pandemic of our lifetime. For all of us, it is the greatest vaccination campaign in history. At the time of writing, around five hundred million people have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, and some ten billion doses have been ordered. Shortage of supplies means that some low-income countries may have to wait years to receive anything, further increasing the divide when it comes to access to healthcare.
COVAX, an initiative co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to help bridge that divide and ensure global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Working with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as a delivery partner, it is touted as the “largest procurement and supply operation in history”. Producing enough vaccines, clearly, means enough syringes as well, and it is no surprise to hear that there is talk of a global shortage.
Many international organizations are working closely, including UNICEF and WHO, as well as national regulators, manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, patients and healthcare workers, to develop recommended guidelines for the safe and secure manufacture and use of all kinds of syringes, including those used for COVID-19 vaccines.