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A special needle that helps vaccinate millions more against COVID-19

TSK Laboratory offers free patent licenses worldwide for COVID-19 vaccine administration.


THE NETHERLANDS – With a specially developed needle that can potentially save 4 to 8 percent of a precious vaccine, millions more can be vaccinated against COVID-19. To responsibly help stop the corona virus pandemic, needle manufacturer TSK Laboratory will allow vaccine manufacturers to freely use their patented Low Dead Space technology for administering COVID-19 vaccines.


The use of this special needle means less vaccine wasted, costs reduced and the right dose of the vaccine injected. The administration of a vaccine is the key factor in savings. For example, the EU purchased 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech to vaccinate 100 million citizens. With TSK Laboratory’s Low Dead Space technology an additional 4 to 8 million people could be vaccinated compared to if a standard needle is used. The same benefit can be gained from the hundreds of millions of doses that other leading vaccine manufacturers such as Moderna and NIAID or AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford are developing. As of November this year, there were around 700 drugs in development targeting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).


A conventional needle has an average dead space of 45 microliters. That’s the amount of vaccine or medicine being wasted per injection. TSK Laboratory developed an inventive and patented needle in 2014 in which this average dead space is reduced to 14 microliters. Using a conservative estimate this could lead to a savings of 20 microliters per dose, and in an optimistic scenario even 40 microliters per dose can be saved. This represents somewhere between 4 and 8 percent based on the assumption that a vaccine dose is 0.5 millilitres. By keeping the dead space in the needle to as low as possible the full indicated vaccine dose can be given with each injection.


TSK Laboratory’s Low Dead Space needles have mainly been used for the administration of more expensive medicines, but now they can also be used for mass vaccination against COVID-19. “There is currently much talk about the development of a vaccine against COVID-19, but there is very little being said about how the vaccine will be injected when it becomes available. This is especially critical when it relates to mass vaccination programs,” says Doris de Beer, managing director of TSK Laboratory Europe B.V. in Oisterwijk. “The solution is very simple with our Low Dead Space needles. It allows you to vaccinate more people with the same amount of available vaccine by reducing the waste remaining in the needle.”


TSK Laboratory is a family company specializing in manufacturing medical needles in Japan since 1974. It currently has offices in Japan, China, Canada and the Netherlands. TSK Laboratory Europe B.V. owns patent rights for TSK Laboratory’s Low Dead Space technology and has decided to allow other parties to freely use this technology for administering COVID-19 vaccines. By doing so TSK Laboratory Europe B.V. hopes this can become an integral part of the vaccination programs. “The COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented in modern history and it affects everyone. We the people, governments and companies should work together in fighting this crisis.” says de Beer.




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Last Updated: 02-Dec-2020