As COVID-19 infections continue to spread quickly through populations reaching nearly every country around the world, researchers worldwide are racing to develop a vaccine that can stop the pandemic – and help bring a sense of safety and security that will allow millions of people to return to their normal daily lives.
As researchers move promising vaccine candidates into clinical trials, it is estimated that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine could be available as soon as early 2021.1,2
But the challenge isn’t just creating a vaccine. It’s also critically important to make sure health care workers are supplied with the right injection devices that will ultimately be needed to deliver a vaccine to help support most of the world’s more than 7 billion population.
Assessing global need
As the largest manufacturer of injection devices in the world, BD is leveraging our expertise and capabilities to understand needs and scale up production to provide maximum support possible for a global vaccination campaign in collaboration with government agencies, multilateral organizations, vaccine manufacturers and distribution partners.
General consensus and current expectations are that a COVID-19 vaccine will require delivery of two doses per person. While some countries are used to receiving annual vaccines in a ready-to-deliver form of prefilled syringes, due to the rapid ramp up in production and speed necessary to deploy the COVID-19 vaccine quickly, the new vaccine is anticipated to be made available initially in single or multidose vials, which require the use of separate needles and syringes to draw the vaccine from the vial and administer it to patients.3
Partnering with governments and organizations around the world to plan ahead
There is not enough capacity in the global industry to manufacture hundreds of millions or billions of syringes and needles in a month or two.4,5 Planning ahead will provide the best opportunity for the global industry to manufacture the number of devices required to be ready for mass vaccination programs as soon as early next year, but governments and multilateral organizations must take action now.
BD has been advising governments and multilateral organizations around the world that the time for planning and ordering is now. Waiting until a vaccine is available will be too late.
Some countries like Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States have recognized the need to prepare early and have secured vaccine delivery devices for their populations. BD is in active and ongoing discussions with multiple other countries and multilateral organizations around the world to support large-scale vaccination campaigns. Partnership and collaboration is critical to ensure the injection devices are the right types of devices, the right quantities and within the right timelines as required for the needs of their citizens.
Preparing our supply chain
BD has already ramped up production of injection devices in anticipation of surge demand for these products, including an expected surge for flu vaccinations next season given forecasts of a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the Fall.
Importantly, based on BD’s manufacturing capability, the company does not expect these pandemic orders to impact BD’s ability to fulfill existing customer requirements for needles and syringes, including the annual flu vaccination and childhood immunization campaigns.
A history of success in vaccine delivery
BD has been by the side of vaccine developers and healthcare providers for decades, ensuring the availability and safe administration of vaccines from polio to the seasonal flu. And now, BD is ready to step up and play an important role in delivering COVID-19 vaccination devices too.
To learn more about how BD is helping throughout this crisis, visit our COVID-19 response page.
1Gallagher, James. 18 May 2020. “Coronavirus vaccine: When will we have one?” BBC.com.
2Yan, Holly. 8 June 2020. “Here’s where we stand on getting a coronavirus vaccine” CNN.com.
3European Biosafety Network. 26 June 2020. “COVID-19 Vaccination Programme”
4Sheikh, Knvul. 4 May 2020. “Find a vaccine. Next: Produce 300 Million Vials of It.” NYTimes.com.
5Stein, Shira. 7 May 2020. “Pandemic’s Next Medical Shortage? Vaccine Needles, Syringes” Bloomberg Law.