Gov. Andrew Cuomo says some of Moderna's vaccine vials contain extra doses, just like Pfizer's
Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, at a news conference in September. Lev Radin / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state found extra doses in its Moderna vaccine bottles.
The vials, believed to contain 10 doses, could hold up to 11.
Cuomo's announcement follows similar news about the Pfizer vaccine: Pharmacists found that many vials of five doses contained six or seven doses.
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that vaccine suppliers in the state found additional doses in vials from Moderna, the biotech company whose vaccine was approved by the FDA on Friday.
"Some good news: many Moderna vaccine bottles contain an extra dose. Vaccines often get 11 doses, not just 10, per vial," Cuomo tweeted Wednesday.
"That means the state's existing offering contains more doses than expected," he added.
A letter from the New York Department of Health states that those who administer vaccines are allowed to take more than 10 doses from the vials if there are enough left, although they are not allowed to mix leftovers from different containers.
Moderna did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the additional doses.
Cuomo also announced that 89,000 New Yorkers had received vaccination shots as of Wednesday. Of this, 22,000 cans were given to residents and workers in 90 nursing homes across the state.
A nurse will be vaccinated with the Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on December 14, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. REUTERS / Carlos Osorio
Cuomo's announcement followed similar news about Pfizer's vaccine. Although each Pfizer vial was supposed to contain five doses, the pharmacists found last week that they could squeeze out six or seven.
At first, some pharmacists threw away the extra doses, not wanting to break the Food and Drug Administration's emergency guidelines that there are five doses per vial.
But on December 16, the agency said those extra doses could be used, according to Politico.
"In view of the public health emergency, the FDA advises that it is acceptable to use any full dose available," said an agency spokesman.
If all Pfizer vials actually contain seven doses instead of five, and all of those doses can be used, this could increase US supply of this vaccine by up to 40%. However, it is more likely that not each vial contains two additional doses.
It is also not yet clear how many additional doses of Moderna's vials hold together. The FDA has not yet provided any official guidelines on how to use these doses.
In an email, FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Caccomo referred Business Insider to the Twitter account of FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, who said Saturday that the FDA "allows vendors to use as many full doses as they would from multiple-dose vaccine bottles are available - about 6 for Pfizer and about 10 for Moderna. "
On Friday, following FDA approval of the Moderna vaccine, the U.S. government announced that 5.9 million doses would be shipped to the states within a week. The government has so far bought 200 million doses of Moderna's vaccine.
Aria Bendix contributed to the coverage.
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