4 December 2023

False: China’s double-dose COVID-19 vaccine vial is neither ‘fake’ nor ‘of different grade’

The new vaccine package was officially approved by medical authorities, according to a doctor from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention who spoke in a webinar in May.

A post on a social media platform Gettr claimed on Sept. 24 that there is a difference between a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine vial and a double-dose vial. It suggested the latter could be “fake” or “of different [lesser] grade.”

It featured an image that compares the labels on two types of vials, and also the boxes that contain them, highlighting that the one is for “single person” usage whereas the other is for “two people.” The user appears to cast a doubt on the medical practicability of administering the two-dose vial.

The post on Gettr, which reportedly caters to politically conservative users in the U.S., has 207 reposts and 305 likes. The same claim has also been posted on Twitter and has 79 retweets, three quote tweets and 97 likes, as of this writing.

However, this claim is false and multiple-dose vaccine vials are not uncommon.

The image from the Gettr post shows the differences between the two vaccine packages. The green vial is for a single dose whereas the blue is for two doses.

In a webinar hosted by the China Association for Vaccines on May 9, 2021, the keynote speaker, Yu Wenzhou of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, discussed this new double-dose vaccine container.

He said the authorities approved it because of the high demand in China, adding that it would help increase vaccine production and supply.

“In order to meet the demands, we encourage manufacturers to produce multi-dose vaccines,” said Yu in the webinar.

“Based on the data we have, the safety and efficacy of the two-dose vial vaccine are guaranteed.”

The Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention said there is no change in the vaccine formulation process.

It said that the vaccine protocols and procedures do not differ from the single-dose vials and it won’t affect the vaccine’s effectiveness.

The article published on May 10 on their website features photos of the same vaccine vials and package like the ones in the social media post in question (as shown below).

A side-by-side comparison of the photos from the Shanghai CDC and Gettr post.

An article published on May 11 on Quzhou News Media’s WeChat account also shows a photo with the same vaccine products.

The vial with a green line contains a single dosage (0.5ml) while the one with a blue line is for “two people” (1.0ml).

The box packaging in the photo indicates these vaccines are manufactured by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a unit of the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

Annie Lab cannot attest to the efficacy of the two different vials, but we can confirm that the double-dose packaging has been approved by the authorities in China.