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Fears were raised about needle and syringe supply for Covid vaccination

By Mindo - 08th Feb 2021

COVID-19 vaccine in researcher hands, female doctor holds syringe and bottle with vaccine for coronavirus cure. Concept of corona virus treatment, injection, shot and clinical trial during pandemic.

The HSE says it has secured the required volume of needles and syringes to support the Covid-19 vaccination programme following earlier fears about a possible shortage.

Concerns about a potential shortage of needles and syringes were raised at the November 2020 meeting of the Covid-19 immunisation strategy group, minutes of which have been seen by the Medical Independent (MI) following a Freedom of Information request.

According to minutes of the 4 November meeting of the group, which is chaired by the Department of Health, “Health Business Services Procurement in the HSE raised the issue of the global shortage of needles and syringes, which could delay delivery of same to Ireland to June/July 2021.”

The meeting was also advised “there is a lack of information around the specifications for needles and syringes required for the vaccines in the portfolio”.

However, a HSE spokesperson told MI it had successfully procured enough needles and syringes.

“A key requirement to-date in our preparation for the vaccination programme has been the procurement planning process,” commented the spokesperson.

“As part of this planning, the HSE has mobilised a dedicated procurement team who have successfully secured the required volume of consumables (including needles and syringes) to support the vaccination programme.

“Our supply lines for consumables are strong and resilient and we do not anticipate any shortages. As part of our risk mitigation strategy, the HSE published a request for information from suitably qualified suppliers and manufacturers.

“The purpose of this exercise is to establish the extent to which additional supply opportunity is available should we decide to broaden the already established and secured supply base.”

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