Japan decides not to procure insulin syringes for COVID-19 vaccinations


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Kono is being illogical. Either using diabetic needles to get 7 doses is good, in which case he should procure extra supplies, or it is bad in which case he should ban it.

Nobody is talking about taking needles from diabetics.

The minister of hankos and syringes is hopelessly confused.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

more excuses for the delay.

Japan launched its vaccination program in mid-February, but the effort has been marred by a failure to secure enough low dead space syringes as well as production delays at Pfizer's factory in Belgium

is always the gaijins fault.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

TLDR: Japan will procrastinate until it's too late.

So they to get together a group of experts to discuss this. Then after a month of talking, they could have a panel, then the outcome will be sent to a board, that will convene to determine if there are actually facts associated with this. Once that happens they will put it to a committee, then put it up for vote. That vote will go to the medical experts. They will hold meetings to determine if this needs to be sent to the heath ministry.

So by 2030, a decision will be made.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

20% more people could get vaccinated and the decision is NOT to use it. Sounds really fishy! How about we make sure the amount normally used is supplied and use the rest for the covid vaccine? Even if only seven syringes are used that means 2 extra people would get the shots.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yes, no, maybe. . .

What's it gonna be?

Have some more meetings, waste some more money.

Hesitant up to the last minute.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Actually diabetic syringes would mainly deliver the vaccines subcutaneously, not intramuscularly as they’re supposed to. This sounds to me as if it’s a way to avoid a potentially dangerous situation and I’m glad to hear it. I’m not excusing Japan, I’m furious about the delays, but I’d rather get a proper shot than one that doesn’t protect me.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Insulin syringes (with a fixed short needle) are explicitly mentioned as an invalid option for intramuscular vaccines, because they increase the risk of not delivering it properly. For mRNA vaccines it is extremely important that the inoculum is absorbed as quickly as possible and that is why IM injection is necessary.

Insulin syringes made for subcutaneous injections were a bad option from the beginning.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

In another year, need meetings the last 12 months were a test run. You know small masks nobody used, ¥100,000 covers a month perhaps of income loss, now dithering on getting people vaccinated, the all cost Olympics and the idea of a solidarity tax? I seriously doubt the government are capable of any decision that ends well for tax (slave) payers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan is not exactly a third world country, it should be a matter of days if not even hours for a Japanese manufacturer to start producing the required syringes.

Why in the world are we still talking about "syringes" when other countries, like the United States are vaccinating more than 2 million people a day and now planning to have vaccination centers also at the dentists and even veterinarians?

0 ( +3 / -3 )


No idea where you are getting that information from.

Nothing has stopped and Japan is one of the top in certain cancer research and development that includes treatments not yet approved in other countries trials etc... I know people the were in new treatment trials and have a friend that is presently in a trail for Stange 4 colon cancer that is not looking like it may be a total success in his case. So if you have anything to back up your claims please tell us.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


To produce syringes is not like producing a different type of placemat.

Retooling of and existing factory will need to be done as it takes very specific steril environment to make syringes and that needs to be done in a balanced way as to not cause shortages of other types of syringes.

Example insulin syringes are not an option, diabetic need daily injections a single dose missed could be a serious life threatening situation.

Miscalculation could lead to far more deaths from non covid problems.

Masks, social distancing, etc.. can reduce spread or the chance of catching Covid. No insulin injections or not getting needed injections of medication cannot be mitigated by other methods.

1 ( +3 / -2 )


The USA has violated so many agreements including its most recent free trade with Canada be blocking Vaccine exports, syringe exports even the basic needed supplies to make these things all the while complaining if and other country does the same to them.

The UK is right there doing the same.

So if the international community would cut of the supplies to the USA and UK we would see a dramatic drop in their vaccination numbers.

Using hoarders as an example of how things should be isn't the best.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Surely someone must have whispered into Kono's ear that using insulin syringes for vaccines is impractical, improper, and potentially dangerous medical practice.

The "we don't want to steal syringes from diabetes patients" is a poor argument given the magnitude of novel treatment options within diabetes therapy other than the old fashioned syringe and vial option.

But it's Japan, and Kono would never admit that at a press conference.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Kono is disgraceful.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If we procure these syringes, then we can no longer explain why the vaccination is going very very slow. At least now we can always claim that it’s because of syringe shortage...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sounds like a sound decision.

Not worth squeezing that extra dose if it would endanger thr lives of those for whom the syringes were originally for.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I trust what @virusrex said here and what he/she mentioned days ago. You couldn’t use these syringes to begin with.

They must have realized that and are trying to cover their incompetence by appearing to look kind.

That’s the best case scenario - worst case is they still don’t realize!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Use the insulin syringes for COVID-19 and give the dead-space syringes to the diabetes patients.

Sure there's a little bit of waste, but Japan can easily produce as much insulin as needed, unlike the COVID vaccine which Japan can produce none.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You couldn’t use these syringes to begin with.

Govt wont procure them but the syringes can be used

but added hospitals are free to use them for inoculations if they have a surplus.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Aren't syringes produced in foreign countries as well, or will they not work on Japanese skin?

1 ( +2 / -1 )


It has been in nearly every news coverage from nearly every country.

There is a global shortage of these special syringes, this includes the USA, Australia, Canada etc...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )


No like  @virusrex said not for the same use.

But just by reading the comments here one can clearly see people don't listen and for some reason refuse to understand.

So it is probably seen as easier to just say they aren't going to take from the diabetics and all the rest than to waste time trying to explain the needle length type of use, etc..

Especially since do few will even try to understand and I can just hear the genius comments like "they just need to push in harder to get the needle in deeper" and we know this will be said.

We had several articles pointing out a global shortage of the proper syringe needed but a quick look here and that still doesn't seem to have been remotely understood.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )


Yes, I understand fully well the issue re short needles but if the doctors or hospitals think they can competently use said syringes for vaccine inoculation they can use it if they have extras.

Thats what the approval was for.

If the real reason for not procuring is that it would be really difficult to administer the vaccine correctly using it then i believe govt would have withdrawn the approval/ not approve in the first place.

In any case, i really appreciate the efforts youre putting out to.try to inform and explain to people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Btw, here's a report about it and other syringes from nhk, might be clearer:

1 ( +1 / -0 )


As far as I know there are more than one type of insulin syringes.

There are actually long needle type and in Japan they are very rarely used for self injection.

There is a bit of a dispute as to when a long needle insulin syringe is needed ( often it has to do with certain physical problems with the diabetic person but even then it is very rare to need them)

So long needle syringes for insulin exist but I am going to guess they are mostly in hospitals and in very limited supply, the long 12.7mm needle would probably still be to short for most people but there has been discussions that for very thin people such as certain elderly it may be long enough.

Though I have my doubts seeing standard IM needles are 25mm to 38mm.

So not sure what the government is thinking at this point.

Now I need to rests it has been 30+ years since I last worked in the medical field (search and rescue paramedic) trying to remember all this stuff is giving me a headache. LOL.

Where is @virusrex when we need him/her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Lol not bad remembering those details after 30years.

Anyway, whatever the hospitals use ,the directive according to the nhk piece is for them to make sure sufficient amount of vaccine reaches the muscles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

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