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US pharmacists are discovering that there may be an extra dose or two in each vial of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, Politico reported.The vials are said to contain five doses, but many pharmacists found they could squeeze out a sixth or seventh. Doses per vial can vary depending on the types of needles and syringes used.An FDA representative told Politico those extra doses shouldn't go to waste.That could mean the US supply of Pfizer's vaccine is up to 40% bigger.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.US pharmacists found a pleasant surprise in their vaccine shipments this week: Though each vial of Pfizer's newly authorized coronavirus vaccine was supposed to contain five doses, some discovered they could squeeze out six or seven.Manufacturers often overfill vials to account for spills or changes in air pressure that might affect the volume of vaccine. So when pharmacists went to prepare the shots - thawing the vials and adding sodium chloride as a diluent - they found the vials were fuller than expected."It was overtly clear early on there's some extra volume," Russell Findlay, a pharmacy manager at the University of Utah Health, told Stat.Many pharmacists threw the extra doses away, not wanting to violate the Food and Drug Administration's emergency-use guidelines, which stipulate that there are five doses per vial.But an FDA representative told Politico on Wednesday that those extra doses shouldn't go to waste."Given the public-health emergency, FDA is advising that it is acceptable to use every full dose obtainable," the person said.On a Wednesday call, the New York state health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, informed nearly 200 healthcare providers there that they could use the extra doses, The New York Times reported.If each vial were to actually yield seven doses, and all those doses were acceptable to administer, the US would have a 40% bigger supply of Pfizer's vaccine than it anticipated. But the number of doses per vial probably isn't consistent.
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