Physicians eager to combat COVID-19 continue to look for ways to make the vaccines easier for patients to access. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently took an important step in that direction by offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to physicians in single-dose vials for patients 12 and older, says Dallas infectious disease specialist Trish Perl, MD, a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force.
The move is designed to give physicians more flexibility in protecting patients against COVID. The Pfizer vaccine traditionally has been offered in multi-dose vials. Once a multi-dose vial of the vaccine is punctured, it must be stored at temperatures between 36°F and 77°F and discarded after 12 hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Smaller practices found it difficult to offer the vaccine without waste, says Dr. Perl, a professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“Part of the new strategy is practical,” she said. “[Offering single doses] allows physicians – especially where volumes are low – to have vaccine for their patients.”
Such availability also allows physicians to discuss the vaccine with hesitant patients and follow up with administration in the exam room, Dr. Perl says, adding that patients consistently rank physicians and other health care professionals as their most trusted sources of vaccine information.
“Many people want their own physicians to make the recommendation and provide the vaccine,” she said. “In addition, people who are on the edge [about the vaccine] – the people who weren’t really sure – will have more access.”
Single-dose vials are available at a minimum order quantity of 50 doses, HHS says, and orders will be limited to not more than 150 single-dose vials.
The agency recommends practices prioritize the single dose vials for situations when a physician is vaccinating only one or two patients at a time. A multi-dose vial would be more useful for a vaccination clinic or scenarios involving multiple vaccinations.
For more information, contact Pfizer at (800) 666-7248, Option 8, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated On
December 05, 2022
Originally Published On
December 05, 2022