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A dose-saver solution for mass vaccination programmes.

The race is on around the globe to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV2), with multiple programmes, in multiple countries, actively developing and testing different solutions.

The unprecedented speed with which research and progress is being made in finding a safe, effective, and functioning vaccine means that hopefully it will not be too long before we will soon see one approved for use. This will have a major impact around the world and finally provide a resolution to a pandemic which continues to decimate populations across all continents.

Governments and not-for-profit medical organisations are keen to invest, and invest heavily, to build up adequate supplies and orders from those pharmaceutical companies and partnerships which are beginning to show the most potential at making it to the finish line with a vaccine which can be delivered en masse, at national and global levels.[i] Of course, when the roll-out occurs, it will be unlike anything we have ever seen before with potentially billions of doses required to be administered, on an annual basis. Medical authorities, policy makers, and vaccine manufacturers need to think carefully about the ways in which mass vaccination of this kind can be delivered expediently, and cost-effectively, to the population and must consider the best tools for the job.

“…a standard needle has
an average dead space of 99µl.”

COVID-19 vaccine developments – the story so far.

By the summer of 2020, only a matter of months after the start of the global coronavirus pandemic, the Lancet was reporting that there were ten candidates in clinical trials to find a vaccine for SARS-CoV2, the cause of COVID-19.[iii] Named candidates included a variety of different approaches including mRNA vaccines (mRNA-1273 (Moderna and NIAID) and BNT162 (BioNTech and Pfizer)), plus DNA vaccines (INO-4800 Inovio Pharmaceuticals), the use of inactivated virus (Unnamed (Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and Sinopharm)), protein subunits (NVX-CoV2373 (Novavax)) and finally the use of an Adenovirus (AZD1222 from the University of Oxford and Astra Zeneca).

More candidates have been added since, and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation is the first to announce two vaccine approvals, although much controversy surrounds the lack of phase III clinical trials for either vaccine. But clearly, this fast-tracked vaccine development could mean that we have a vaccine on the market somewhere between the end of 2020 and the middle of 2021.[iv]

Average development time vaccine: 10 years.Success rate vaccine development: 6 percent.

Vaccine administration delivery platforms.

Commonplace vaccination programmes include the annual influenza or flu immunisation which is offered as an intramuscular injection for adults or via a nasal spray for children. More and more people now participate in national immunisation programmes, and have experience with being vaccinated against flu, so familiarity will be helpful when it comes to mass vaccination for SARS-CoV2.

Intramuscular injection or nasal delivery are the most common methods of vaccine administration, yet a review of the current clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccination, a sample of 17 studies as published on, cites a variety of administration techniques being studied including:


  • Intramuscular injection (9 studies)
  • Intradermal injection (2 studies)
  • Sub-cutaneous injection (2 studies)
  • IV Infusions (1 study)
  • Not cited (2 studies)
  • Electroporation via the Cellectra 2000 (1 Study [INO-4800])

The LDS hub leads to significant cost savings when injecting high cost drugs, or precious vaccine materials that are in short supply and high demand.

TSK Low Dead Space (LDS) needle hubs.

The range of needle and syringe designs from TSK Laboratory has become the integrated product of choice for many leading pharmaceutical companies for many years. TSK put great emphasis on developing new technologies and product innovations, such as their Low Dead Space (LDS) needle hub, and aim to deliver new solutions that improve clinical outcomes and produce cost savings, whilst simultaneously improving patient safety and comfort.

As well as having exceptional sharpness to the needles, and the highest quality standards and materials employed, the LDS hub is designed to reduce, as close to zero as possible, the space left behind in the needle hub, leading to significant cost savings when injecting high cost drugs or precious vaccine materials that are in short supply and high demand.

The TSK LDS needle hub is manufactured from an extremely hard polymer hub with exterior threading. This allows for an even tighter Luer lock connection, preventing flexing, leakage, and the chance that the hub will “pop-off” when exposed to high pressures.

About TSK Laboratory.

The TSK Group was founded in 1948 and currently has three needle manufacturing sites in Japan as well as global offices in Japan, Canada, The Netherlands, China. They are also due to open operations in the USA and Australia.

At their facilities, TSK dedicate themselves to applying the highest quality standards, from product development through to production, to ensure the safety of every patient that is being treated with their products. All facilities and ISO certified cleanrooms pass the highest level of inspection and auditing standards, incorporated by major overseas pharmaceutical companies, medical companies, and authorities.

TSK focuses on quality, innovation, and customer intimacy. They aim to provide safe, high-quality products, enabling doctors and specialists to provide their patients with the best possible treatment. By improving their manufacturing processes and developing new innovations within the market, they continuously improve their products as well as the way in which they are implemented by medical experts within their field.