February 10, 2012 | The Editors

Milestones: the SoloShot™ syringe

We’ve been featuring some of the most notable achievements in our history, including helping to develop a smart sticker that can show when a vaccine has been exposed to heat that might sap its effectiveness and increasing immunization against hepatitis B in Indonesia. Now, here’s the fourth in our series on milestones from PATH’s first 35 years.

1987 to 1992: Created the SoloShot™ syringe

The health challenge: Reuse and infection from contaminated needles is a major source of disease transmission in the developing world. An estimated 50 percent of injections in developing countries were estimated to be unsafe.

Close up of syringe and cap
The SoloShot™ syringe. Photo: PATH/Glenn Austin.

What we did: PATH developed and implemented one of the first feasible approaches to nonreusable syringes for immunizations: an autodisable syringe with a fixed needle that automatically locks after a single injection. PATH collaborated with a private-sector partner, BD, to ensure the syringes were affordable and available in low-resource settings.

The result: Our work led to the development of other autodisable syringes, increasing competition and availability while lowering prices. Since commercial introduction in 1992, 6 billion vaccinations have been delivered using SoloShot™ syringes by public health programs in more
than 40 developing and emerging countries.

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