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Rollout of omicron vaccine threatened by ‘flimsy needles’

NHS staff have warned that needles supplied with a Covid vaccine which targets the omicron strain are “not fit for purpose” and could place vaccinators and members of the public at risk.

Dozens of messages shared on an NHS staff forum reveal widespread concerns about the needles supplied with the Moderna SpikeVax vaccine, which are said to bend when vaccinators pierce the top of the vial containing the Covid-19 vaccine doses.

The SpikeVax bivalent vaccine was the first to target both the original and the omicron strain of the virus. It is due to play a key role in the NHS’s autumn Covid vaccination booster programme. 

One pharmacist said: “They [the needles] just are not fit for purpose and as such we are not using them and are using the original needles until a solution is found”.

A UK Health Security Agency spokesperson confirmed the problem, stating: “We are aware that some NHSE sites are experiencing some problems with the use of the new needle and syringe being supplied for administrating the Moderna bivalent vaccine. We are in touch with the supplier about these concerns, including the facilitation of additional training support, but if necessary will also offer an alternative suitable product to avoid any disruption to the vaccination programme.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 15 September 2022


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