British GPs advised to use extra Pfizer doses ‘at their discretion’ - EasternEye

British GPs advised to use extra Pfizer doses ‘at their discretion’

(Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images).
(Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images).

GENERAL practitioners in Britain have been given new guidance al­lowing them to use Pfiz­er Inc’s extra Covid-19 vaccine doses “at their discretion”, NHS Eng­land said.

The development came a day after US regulators issued a sim­ilar guidance.

Every vial of the Pfiz­er/BioNTech vaccine was expected to include five doses, but GPs found it was possible to make six doses out of the vials, the Daily Tele­graph newspaper re­ported late last Thurs­day (17).

The NHS confirmed that in a weekly webi­nar with NHS England last Thursday, clinicians were told they could use the sixth dose “at their discretion”.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) told Reuters it was aware of the advice from NHS regarding the use of any surplus, and that the regulator had raised no objections.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had said last Wednesday (16) that ex­tra doses from vials of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vac­cine can be used, after reports of vaccine doses being thrown away by pharmacists due to la­belling confusion.

The Pfizer vials are supposed to hold five doses, according to the labelling, but media re­ports said that pharma­cists in the US had found a way for a sixth or even a seventh dose. Without clear approval from the manufacturer, however, the extra dose had to be discarded.

The Pfizer/BioNTech shot, the first Covid-19 vaccine to be approved by Western drugs regu­lators, is being rolled out in countries includ­ing Britain and the United States, and is ex­pected to be approved for use in the European Union this week.

Pfizer, last Friday (18) said it had applied for an approval of its vac­cine in Japan.

Britain earlier this month became the first country in the world to deploy Pfizer’s vaccine.

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