BD Ships Smallpox Vaccine Needles Globally

FRANKLIN LAKES, NJ - Syringe and Needle manufacturing giant Becton, Dickinson has begun shipping a specialized needle necessary for administering the smallpox vaccine worldwide.

The FDA-cleared, European CE marked bifurcated needle has two tiny prongs that hold the vaccine. The design was also used by the World Health Organization (WHO) during the smallpox eradication campaign of the 1970s. The BD device, however, is individually sterilized and hard-packaged for safety and biodefense stockpiling needs.

"Since Sept. 11, BD's goal has been to help governments around the world prepare for mass public immunization for smallpox and other life-threatening bioterror agents," says Zeil Rosenberg, BD's worldwide business leader for immunization. "It is critical to have adequate supplies of the bifurcated needle available in the event worldwide immunization for smallpox becomes necessary."

BD officials are also working on advanced information technology platform that will help facilitate such mass immunizations.

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