The city will suspend use of a vial for more than the recommended number of doses and will discard any leftover vaccine in accordance with guidelines from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), the national health authority, newspaper VG and local media Nordlys have reported.
The northern city has succeeded in drawing six or seven doses from vials. Increased precision and technique are required to stretch a vial to a seventh dose.
Last week, NIPH updated its Covid-19 vaccination guidelines, stating that taking above six doses is “off-label” and must be approved by a senior doctor who can take “any responsibility for the consequences of such use”.
As such, Tromsø has asked for further clarification before resuming its previous practice of taking a seventh doses when possible.
“Until (we receive) clarification we will discard doses, but we hope to get this clarified during the next week,” Tromsø’s chief municipal medical advisor Inger Hilde Trandem told VG.
Pfizer vials were originally stated by the company to contain five doses, but a margin of error allows up to two extra doses to be drawn in some cases. In January, the company’s own description of the number of doses in each vial was increased from five to six.
Trandem told VG that Tromsø would like to continue using as many doses as possible.
“It’s sensible to use as many doses as possible. But we want to do it correctly and in line with the rules. We have to know what is needed, whether a senior doctor should approve every single dose or whether the senior municipal doctor is responsible,” she said.