Governor Polis & Governor Brown Urge FDA to Allow COVID-19 Vaccine Pooling

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

DENVER - Today, Governor Polis along with Oregon Governor Kate Brown sent a letter to Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock of the Food and Drug Administration urging the FDA to permit the pooling of COVID vaccines by granting a short-term emergency waiver for experienced practitioners. 

Vaccine pooling is a common practice routinely used for other vaccine doses, such as the flu shot, that allows medical practitioners to take leftover amounts of a vaccine from one vial and combine it with another vial to produce one full vaccine dose. Governor Polis and Governor Brown believe FDA approval of vaccine pooling for the COVID-19 vaccine would be an effective step in getting more shots into arms that still ensures doses are safe and effective. 

“We believe we must take advantage of every opportunity to protect people from the virus as well as outpace the rapid growth of COVID-19 variants. One such opportunity is the pooling of vaccine doses,” said Governor Polis and Governor Brown in the letter. 

“Pooling is a common practice, and our respective state experts believe the benefits of pooling in this case outweigh any potential risks of combining doses from multiple vials. With the use of Low Dead Space syringes and equipment, trained practitioners can get a 6th and potentially 7th dose out of the Pfizer vial. We cannot afford the waste of vaccines that our practitioners see on a daily and hourly basis, as they dispose of the “leftover” at the bottom of so many vials. That leftover can and should be put to use saving lives,” the letter reads. 

Read Governor Polis and Brown’s letter to the FDA.