SOP for preparing Comirnaty concentrate Adult and Adolescent Syringes for Administration at PCN designated sites prior to immediate administration.

Change of needle sizes · Needles for reconstitution and preparation are changing size in 2022

Further details are provided below. Vaccination sites should be aware but do not need to take additional actions.


A standard operating procedure is attached to this page.

These documents may be adapted by Superintendent Pharmacists for the use of the vaccine in Community Pharmacy settings.

You should also familiarise yourself with our background guide Facilitating Pharmaceutical support to PCN Designated Sites for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Changes to needles in 2022

The needles that are supplied for reconstitution and preparation of syringes will change in early 2022.

Old needle sizes

The old needle sizes, which are included in our SOPs, use a 21 gauge needle for reconstitution and 23 gauge needles for preparation of syringes for administration.

New needle sizes

In early 2022, UKHSA will be providing 23 gauge needles for reconstitution and 25 gauge needles for preparation of syringes.

Timelines and action

The change will be gradual: some vaccination centres will receive the new syringes and needles before our SOPs are updated; others will continue to stock the previous syringes and needles after the SOPs have been updated.

Vaccination centres do not need to take any specific action. They should continue to use the needles and syringes provided by UKHSA, using original stock first.


Other handling content for PCNs

Other COVID-19 vaccines resources

Other external resources

COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech Handling and Preparation Video

A video produced by Pfizer showing the correct handling and preparation of the COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech

What to do if you still have questions

If you still have questions you can get in touch with us. However, please first read our service remit; and if you still think we can help, use the email address below.

We're supporting healthcare professionals in England with pharmaceutical aspects of the COVID-19 vaccination programme; read our service remit to find out more.
If you're a healthcare professional who needs further advice, get in touch with us. We answer questions about Medicines Optimisation issues, including those about the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Help us to help you: tell us where on our site you were.

Change history

  1. PVH3, PVH3.1, PVH3.2 Changed throughout to Adult and Adolescent product. Removal of reference to Regulation 174 product.
  1. Banner and note on changes in needles added
  1. PVH3, PVH3.1, PVH3.2 - Amendment to syringe size to allow for changes in supply
  1. PVH3, PVH3.1, PVH3.2 - Clarification of technique when using a syringe with an auto-retracting needle. Advice added to minimise coring of vial stopper
  1. The current content is still accurate.
  1. PVH3.1 - Amended in line with introduction of licensed Comirnaty product
  2. PVH3 - Amendment of content and scope to include requirements for use of Regulation 174 and licensed Comirnaty products. Removal of waste code table.
  3. PVH3.2 - Amended in line with introduction of licensed Comirnaty product
  1. Addition of wording to webpage referring to use within Community Pharmacy settings.
  1. PVH3 - Clarification following update to national PGD, Clarification of disposal route for outer packaging
  1. Link to Pfizer video added
  1. PVH3.1 - Amended in line with updated regulation 174
  2. PVH3 - Needle gauge options for morbidly obese amended, avoidance of pooling added and amended to six doses in line with updated regulation 174
  3. PVH3.2 - Amended in line with updated regulation 174
  1. PVH3 - 5.1.7 - Clarification of second check
  2. PVH3 - 3 - Wording reflects availability of National Protocol
  3. PVH3 - 5.3.1 - Clarification of swab type
  4. PVH3 - 5.4.1 - Additional consumables for sixth dose added
  5. PVH3.2 - In line with PVH3 version 2.4 update. Minor clarifications and addition of consumables for sixth dose added into main text
  6. PVH3 - 5.4.4 - Word “new” added
  1. Published