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Gottlieb Defends Pfizer's Move to Change Vaccine Vial Amounts

(CNBC's "Squawk Box")

By    |   Monday, 25 January 2021 01:37 PM

Former FDA Director Scott Gottlieb, who sits on Pfizer's board, defended the company's push to count its vials of COVID-19 vaccine as having six doses rather than the five that had been initially outlined.

"The bottom line here is that this is a very scarce resource; we need to make sure every dose gets used," Gottlieb, a CNBC contributor, told "Squawk Box" on Monday. "The only way to do that is to market this as a vial that has six doses and provide the proper equipment to extract that sixth dose, which in fact Pfizer is doing."

Pharmacists, soon after Pfizer started shipping out its vaccine, found they could get an extra dose of the drug from vials the company had said contained five doses.

However, Pfizer has pushed the FDA in recent weeks to revise its emergency use authorization, allowing the sixth dose to be officially counted toward fulfillment of the federal contract, The New York Times reported Friday. This means the company can ship fewer vials of the vaccine.

Some pharmacists did not have the right syringes to extract the extra doses, meaning they were being thrown out rather than used.

Gottlieb defended the move to designate vials of the vaccine as having six doses, saying Monday the change will allow Pfizer to supply 120 million doses of the vaccine at the beginning of 2021 rather than 100 million.

The change, however, puts pressure on people giving the shots to extract six doses from every vial, which requires special syringes that many do not have. The government has contracted with syringe makers such as Becton Dickinson to provide such supplies to local officials.

Becton Dickinson, the world's largest syringe maker, does not have the ability to increase U.S. supplies of the special syringes substantially, according to Reuters.

Gottlieb, meanwhile, said vaccine vials will only be counted as having six doses in jurisdictions that have the proper syringes, and the changes in dose numbers in vials that were previously shipped will be counted as having five doses, not six.

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Former FDA Director Scott Gottlieb, who sits on Pfizer's board, defended the company's push to count its vials of COVID-19 vaccine as having six doses rather than the five that had been initially outlined.
scott gottlieb, pfizer, covid-19, doses, big pharma, vials
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2021-37-25
Monday, 25 January 2021 01:37 PM
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