Jet Injectors = Jet Infectors
July 9, 2016
Archival footage of civilian mass vaccination campaigns captured jet injector nozzles were never wiped in between consecutive patients. “Since there is no needle the risk of hepatitis is eliminated,” numerous professionals from the 1950s and 1960s incorrectly thought.
Not wiping the nozzle increased the likelihood in the transmission of blood, blood-borne pathogens, and infectious material to subsequent vaccinees. Numerous studies have upheld this finding. This is worth repeating, the risk of cross-contamination is lowered, but not eliminated, by the wiping of the injector nozzle with an acetone cotton swab (CDC, 1986; FDA, 2005; Grabowsky et al., 1994; Hoffman et al., 2001).
Ultimately, it is a moot point on whether the nozzle was wiped or not. Inherent design faults allowed internal components, such as the nozzle orifice and drug reservoir, to become contaminated. Cleansing only the external components of the device did not remove internal contamination. Regardless, the jet injector acted as a vehicle in the transmission of pathogens between recipients.
However, if you are like me, seeing stock footage of the device not being wiped between patients still holds importance. The ignorance to such blatant hazards is shocking.
“Miracle in Tonga” is a 1965 CDC film documenting the testing of a Ped-O-Jet injector for the administration of smallpox vaccination. Here the CDC went to the island nation of Tonga to test the use of the jet injector amongst a healthy population that had no history of smallpox. (The complete video can be accessed at http://resource.nlm.nih.gov/7800975A). This film captures leading physicians within the CDC administering consecutive jet injections without ever wiping the nozzle.
“Mission Measles: The Story of a Vaccine” is a 1964 film by Merck Sharp & Dohme on the creation of a measles vaccine. US Public Health Service tested the vaccine upon over 730,000 Upper Volta Africans using a Ped-O-Jet injector. (The complete video can be accessed at http://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid-8901910A-vid). This film is another example of government physicians administering consecutive jet injections without ever wiping the nozzle.
“Smallpox Vaccination Production” is a 1966 film by Connaught Medical Research Laboratories at the University of Toronto describing the production of smallpox vaccine. (The complete video can be accessed at http://www.museumofhealthcare.ca/explore/exhibits/vaccinations/smallpox.html). The film demonstrates the use of the Ped-O-Jet injector upon adults, whereupon the vaccinator failed to wipe the nozzle between subsequent vaccinees.
- (CDC, 1986) Centers of Disease Control. Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Hepatitis B Associated with Jet Gun Injection — California. MMWR 1986;35(23):373-376.
- (FDA, 2005) FDA. General Hospital and Personal Use Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee. August 9, 2005. 35th Conference. Washington, D.C.
- (Grabowsky et al., 1994) Grabowsky M, Hadler SC, Chen RT, Bond WW, de Souza Brito G. Risk of transmission of hepatitis B virus or human immunodeficiency virus from jet injectors and from needles and syringes. Unpublished manuscript draft, dated January 3, 1994.
- (Hoffman et al., 2001) Hoffman PN, Abuknesha RA, Andrews NJ, Samuel D, Lloyd JS. A model to assess the infection potential of jet injectors used in mass immunization. Vaccine 19 (2001): 4020-4027.
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