LDV Syringe : How To Read The Volume Correctly?

Most COVID-19 vaccination programmes use LDV syringes to reduce vaccine wastage, but people are misreading them.

Find out why LDV syringes are being used, and how to read them properly!


LDV Syringe : What Is It?

Low dead volume (LDV) or low dead space (LDS) syringes and needles are specially designed to reduce wastage.

Most COVID-19 vaccination programmes are using these LDV / LDS syringes and needles to minimise vaccine wastage in each shot.

A normal syringe, for example, will have about 0.1 ml of fluid left after a full injection. A LDV syringe / needle can reduce that to just 0.003 ml!

These special syringes and needles allow a skilled healthcare worker to extract an extra dose or two from each vial of COVID-19 vaccine.


LDV Syringe : How To Read The Volume Correctly?

There have been a few cases where vaccine recipients have been given less than the recommended dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In other cases, it is likely that the vaccine recipients misread the volume of LDV syringes, which are different from regular syringes.

To avoid such misunderstandings, healthcare workers are now asked to show the vaccine recipient the pre-filled syringes before vaccination, and the empty syringe after vaccination.

However, vaccine recipients must first understand how much COVID-19 vaccine should be in the syringe, and how to read the volume correctly!

How Much Volume For Each Vaccine Shot?

Different vaccines have different recommended volumes. Most vaccines are titrated with a recommended dose volume of 0.5 ml, but not Pfizer.

Vaccines Dose Volume
Pfizer COMIRNATY 0.3 ml
AstraZeneca Vaxzevria 0.5 ml
Sinovac CoronaVac 0.5 ml

How To Read LDV Syringes

Low dead volume needles are used with regular syringes, and are read normally. So they are not a problem.

LDV syringes though, have a special long rubber plunger – the black part. Most people misread it by looking at the tip of this long plunger.

It should be read from the first ring of the LDV plunger, as the picture below shows.

If you are not aware of this, you would probably think the LDV syringe contained only 0.35 ml of vaccine. In reality, it contains 0.5 ml of the vaccine.

Don’t forget to also check the vial, to verify you are getting the right COVID-19 vaccine – to avoid potential mix-ups in vaccination centres that offer different COVID-19 vaccines.


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