July 21, 2020 / 12:44 PM / 18 days ago

U.S., Canada order 177 million syringes, needles from Becton Dickinson

(Reuters) - Medical device maker Becton Dickinson and Co said on Tuesday it received additional orders from the United States and Canada governments for 177 million syringes and needles for COVID-19 vaccination programs.

The new order for 140 million syringes and needles brings Becton’s total U.S. orders to 190 million devices, while the new Canadian order for 37 million devices brings the country’s total orders to 75 million.

In early July, Becton said the U.S. government planned to invest $42 million to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity for syringes and needles to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

The company said it would start distributing the devices by the end of December 2020.

Becton said in May it was preparing to ramp up manufacturing operations to handle demand for COVID-19 testing kits in the event of a second wave of infections during fall.

Last week, the U.S. government agreed to buy 2,000 of the company’s BD Veritor Plus Systems and 750,000 of its SARS-CoV-2 antigen test, as the country ramps up testing for the virus that has been spreading at an alarming rate.

Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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