The world could face a deficit of up to 2 billion syringes in 2022, according to the World Health Organization, Reuters reports.
The numbers: Since COVID-19 vaccines became available, about 6.8 billion vaccinations have been administered around the world. That’s nearly double the number of vaccines that are routinely given and outstrips the total manufacturing capacity of 6 billion vaccination syringes per year, a WHO expert said.
The problem: Unless more syringes are produced, the shortage could not only hinder the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines but also impact other routine immunizations and cause delays in some medical procedures. Authorities are also concerned that a lack of syringes could cause poorer countries with fewer medical resources to unsafely reuse syringes.
Mounting issues: “The comments from the WHO expert come as Europe is seeing a fourth wave of coronavirus cases. WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said the U.S. needs to take lessons from Europe’s fourth wave and implement coronavirus restrictions if the country begins to see a spike in cases,” according to The Hill.