S Korea allows workers to squeeze extra doses

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (AP) — South Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has allowed health workers to squeeze extra doses from vials of coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

The decision yesterday came after some health workers who were administering the AstraZeneca shots reported to authorities that they still saw additional doses left in the bottles that had each been used for 10 injections.

KDCA official Jeong Gyeong-shil said skilled workers may be able to squeeze one or two extra doses from each vial if they use low dead-volume syringes designed to reduce wasted medications and vaccines.

However, she said the KDCA isn’t allowing health workers from combining vaccines left in different bottles to create more doses. The KDCA had previously authorised 10 injections for each AstraZeneca vial and six for each Pfizer vial.

South Korea, which launched its public vaccination campaign on Friday, is administering the AstraZeneca shots to residents and workers at long-term care facilities ones to front-line medical workers. Yesterday, South Korea reported another 405 coronavirus cases.