25 January 2021

Vaccination efforts boost packaging

With most of the world still waiting for vaccine supplies the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines call for cleaver packaging to ensure their efficacy.

Vial of vaccine
© Hakan Nural/Unsplash

Vaccine distribution has called for boosts to production for traditional packaging such as  glass vials, as well as pushing developers to find solutions to prevent counterfeiting, present clear serialisation, and facilitate temperature-controlled shipping.

As a result, the global market for pharmaceutical packaging equipment has experienced a lift, and a report published by Research And Markets, assumes an increase in growth for the sector worldwide.

Most Covid-19 vaccines will be filled into borosilicate glass vials, which are the standard packaging for vaccines. In June 2020, for example, USA-based vaccine manufacturer Moderna announced a partnership with Catalent, USA, to fill and finish the vials for the first batch of 100 million doses of vaccine at Catalent’s plant in Indiana. German glass specialist SCHOTT is also involved in three-quarters of Covid-19 vaccine projects, according to market research company Global Data. Gerresheimer and the Stevanato Group are also producing pharmaceutical vials.

Because many different vaccine types have been developed, the requirements for transport, storage and shipping vary and temperatures of as low as -80°C can be required. Insulated boxes and digital transport boxes, can maintain the temperature in the required temperature range during transport.

Vaccine manufacturer Pfizer has developed its own thermal shipper. Using dry ice, the temperature in the shipper can be maintained at a consistent level over a 10-day period. GPS temperature-enabled trackers are used in the shipping container to constantly monitor the temperature. They measure and record the temperature and vaccine inventory in real time. The Pfizer boxes can be reused several times.

As the vaccination programmes ramp up globally, packaging may be onto a winner.

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