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The real-life number of neonatal doses of BCG vaccine in a 20-dose vial

Bandim researchers working in Guinea Bissau have found that 20-dose BCG vaccine vials hold less doses of their vital content than anticipated.

 In a new study, published in Global Health Action, they present the results of a study which showed surprising results: During a month, they tested how many doses two experienced nurses could extract from the 20-dose vaccine vials  uring the daily work. On average the nurses were able to extract only 13 doses from the BCG-Denmark  (Statens Serum Institut) vials and 15 doses for BCG-Russia (Serum Institute of India) vials.

The results are important, since BCG vials are often only opened if 10-12 infants are present, to reduce vaccine wastage. . However, based on these new figures, vaccine wastage is much lower than assumed. Adjusting practice to the real-life number of doses would immediately suggest vials be opened if 7 rather than 10 infants are present, without increasing wastage. Noteworthy, as other studies have indicated that BCG may have beneficial non-specific effects on neonatal mortality, the potential gain by opening a 20-dose vial even for one child may be considerable.

Full link to the study: