In the midst of a pandemic, the world is on the verge of a shortage of syringes, warned yesterday the World Health Organization (who); which expects a deficit of up to two billion units in 2022, if its production fails to keep pace with doses of vaccines against the COVID-19.
“We are raising the real concern that we may have a shortage of syringes, which in turn would cause serious problems, such as slowing down immunization efforts,” said Lisa Hedman, WHO adviser on access to medicines and medical devices.
“Depending on the vaccine supply, there could be a shortfall of between 1 billion to 2 billion,” he added.
According to the official, who urged countries to increase their production capacity, efforts are already being made to do so.
More than 7.25 billion doses of COVID-19 immunization have been administered worldwide.
This is almost twice the number of vaccines given per year, and twice the number of syringes required.
According to Lisa Hedman, a shortage of needles could delay routine vaccinations and thus impact public health “for years” if a generation of young people does not receive the usual childhood vaccines.
Also, it could lead to the reuse of these instruments and their needles, which are supposed to be single use only.
The WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, warned yesterday that the continent is facing a “harsh winter” due to the rebound in coronavirus in the area, and reiterated that the region is at the “epicenter” of the pandemic.
He stressed that Europe registered about two million new infections last week and accumulates about 1.5 million deaths from the virus.
He called for intensifying vaccination, especially among health personnel, since in seven countries there are less than 20 percent of health workers with the full schedule.