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The UK government has signed a deal with Becton Dickinson & Co. to obtain 65 million injection devices to prepare for a COVID-19 vaccination program. The first shipments of the injection devices have already arrived in the UK, with the full order expected to be delivered by September 2020.

Due to the need to deploy future COVID-19 vaccinations quickly, they are expected to be made available initially in single or multidose vials. This requires the use of separate needles and syringes to draw the vaccine from the vial and administer it to patients.

"BD’s dose-sparing injection devices are engineered to increase the available amount of vaccine by minimizing vaccine waste. These devices can also play an essential role in expanding available vaccine doses during a pandemic. The savings associated with lower vaccine waste are greater than the total cost of dose-sparing injection devices," BD UK&I general manager, Mike Fairbourn told Medtech Insight.

BD is the largest manufacturer of injection devices in the world. In June, the company secured its first deal with the Canadian government to supply 37 million injection devices for COVID-19 vaccines. According to Fairbourn, the company is in discussions with the US and multiple other governments around the world to supply more of the devices.

"The UK selected a device that was able to be produced and delivered in a very rapid timeframe to ensure they are prepared for whenever a vaccine is prepared," said Fairbourn. "We aren’t vaccine manufacturers, so we won’t speculate on timing, but widely published reports show a vaccine is expected late in 2020 or early in 2021."

Fairbourn said the deal is not material to BD from a financial perspective.

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