WHO Warns of Vaccine Syringe Shortages

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that there could be a shortage of 1 to 2 billion syringes for COVID-19 vaccines that could undermine immunization efforts.

The UN health agency called to medical manufacturers on Nov. 9 to ramp up production of vaccine syringes to avoid a mass shortage.

“A shortage of syringes is unfortunately a real possibility,” said WHO expert Lisa Hedman. “That the global manufacturing capacity of around six billion a year for immunization syringes it’s pretty clear that a deficit in 2022 of over a billion could happen if we continue with business as usual.”

Hedman noted that the number of COVID-19 vaccines that have been administered globally — more than 6.8 billion doses — is almost twice the number of routine vaccinations before the pandemic.

The current total manufacturing capacity is 6 billion vaccine syringes per year.

Hedman warned that the shortage could cause delays in vaccinations, particularly for children as countries begin to inoculate minors, and could encourage the unsafe reusing of syringes.

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