The Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University has developed an automated vaccine filling machine that can fill AstraZeneca vaccine into syringes with precision, speed, and safety, helping to increase the number of vaccinated people by 20 percent. The prototype is now operating at Chula Vaccination Center and more machines are planned to be built to support frontline medical personnel in many vaccination centers soon.
Mass vaccination for a large population can pose as a major problem that requires immediate attention to contain the spread of COVID-19 as soon as possible. However, there are limitations. AstraZeneca vaccine comes in multi-dose vials that have to be drawn into syringes in equal amounts. The medical personnel is overwhelmed with the daunting task of vaccinating a large number of people each day. These are the problems that the Faculty of Engineering tried to address with the development of an automated vaccine filling machine that ensures the precision of the draw, thereby increasing the number of vaccinated recipients by 20 percent, as well as relieving the burden of medical personnel.
Conceptualization of the automated vaccine filling machine
The Thai Ministry of Public Health has chosen “AstraZeneca” as the country’s main vaccine and plans to administer 61 million doses to the Thai people by medical personnel. AstraZeneca vaccine comes in 10-dose vials, but the manufacturers fill the vials with 13 doses to allow for human impreciseness while drawing the vaccine. This surplus amount is an opportunity to vaccinate more people. Therefore, the Ministry trained Bumrasnaradoon Hospital personnel to draw more than 10 doses, and sometimes they got 11-12 doses, but not consistently.
“At Chula Engineering, we are always innovating, and see that automation can do the work for humans in this area. So, we invented the machine that accurately extracts 12 doses of vaccine from a vial, thus increasing the number of vaccinated people to 12 per each vial, and ensuring the accuracy of vaccine volume in every injection,” said Asst. Prof. Dr. Juthamas Ratanavaraporn, Chairperson of the Biomedical Engineering Program, and co-developer of the automated vaccine filling machine with Lecturer Saran Keeratihatayakorn, Office of International Engineering Program Administration, Faculty of Engineering.
“Currently, vaccines are limited. The fact that we can increase vaccination by 20 percent is extremely beneficial to the country,” Asst. Prof. Dr. Juthamas emphasized.
How the automated vaccine filling machine works
The Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, in collaboration with the Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Health and various companies from the private sector developed the machine to be safe and free from contamination at maximum efficiency. Most importantly, it can easily be operated by only one non-medical operator.
“Staff will place 12 syringes on a platform, and a vial of the vaccine on the designated spot on the conveyer belt. A vacuum nozzle will drain all the 6.5 ml. of vaccine from the vial into each of the 10-ml syringes with an air-cushion suction method, so the vaccine will not come in direct contact with the suction nozzle and there is no worry about contamination. The syringes and needles are replaced with new ones every time, so it is safe with no contamination,” added Asst. Prof. Dr. Juthamas.
“The conveyor belt allows the vaccine to be filled into syringes continuously and quickly. It takes about 4 minutes to fill, then the syringes are capped with injection needles, and placed on vaccine trays, ready for immediate injection. This greatly relieves the burden of the frontline medical personnel, reduces the time required for this step, and increases the vaccination by 20 percent or 1,700 additional doses per day.”
Asst. Prof. Dr. Juthamas said that this concept can be applied to other alternative vaccines that are packaged in multiple doses as well. At present, the prototype is already being piloted at the Chula Vaccination Center. Asst. Prof. Dr. Juthamas revealed that a plan is underway to produce another 100 units to distribute to large vaccination centers that give more than 1,000 doses of vaccination per day, such as the Bang Sue Central Station or provincial hospitals. In addition, talks about exporting this innovation to neighboring countries that use similar vaccines are in the works, and details are being worked out with the Ministry of Public Health. Moreover, the automated vaccine filling machine can also be adapted to work with other mRNA vaccines such as the Pfizer vaccine. The researchers are working on using the same concept with some adjustments.
More from: Chulalongkorn University
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Automated vaccine filling machine
- CDC asks the unvaccinated not to travel this weekend and says even vaccinated need to weigh the riskon September 1, 2021 at 3:58 am
This week, data presented by a CDC vaccine adviser showed a hospitalization ... breathe and most were only breathing with help from a machine.” He said medical staff are “exhausted,” so ...
- The Latest: S Korea tops 1,000 cases for 57th straight dayon August 31, 2021 at 8:54 am
Officials are wrestling with a slow vaccine rollout and an erosion in public ... amid a statewide resurgence of coronavirus that’s filling hospital beds just as students return to class.
- Fourth generation sugar makers preparing for another seasonon August 26, 2021 at 2:53 pm
Some doctors are disappointed with Alberta’s government for not introducing vaccine passports ... informed them it will “immediately” begin filling staffing shortages by hiring contract nurses from ...
- Biden Pushes for Masks in Schools; Cigna Mandate: Virus Updateon August 18, 2021 at 2:34 pm
One of Israel’s top health-care providers said initial results of a study show that a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine given to Israelis over ... Intensive-care wards across Texas are rapidly filling ...
- NZ-first vaccine filling machine nears completion, could boost vaccine supplyon August 12, 2021 at 9:09 pm
"While there is still some way to go this automated vaccine filling machine has the potential to future proof our ability to deal with pandemics." ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Automated vaccine filling machine
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Europe BCG Vaccine Markett Report Included latest Industry Data, Forecast To 2028on September 8, 2021 at 8:27 am
This has brought along several changes in This report also covers the impact of COVID-19 on the global market. The BCG Vaccine Market analysis summary by Reports Insights is a thorough study of the ...
- Novavax Initiates Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of Combination Vaccine for COVID-19 and Seasonal Influenzaon September 8, 2021 at 5:22 am
Novavax, Inc. , a biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced enrollment of the first participants in a ...
- How everyday people help the CDC track COVID vaccine safety with their phoneson September 8, 2021 at 5:10 am
Going in, some public health experts expressed doubts about v-safe's effectiveness. But since the tool’s Dec. 13 release, reviews have mostly been positive.
- Drop-in COVID vaccine clinic every Wednesday in Ashcrofton September 8, 2021 at 12:00 am
Drop-in vaccine clinic in Ashcroft. Every Wednesday through Sept. 29, Interior Health will be holding a drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Ashcroft Hospital and Community Heal ...
- V-Safe: How everyday people help the CDC track COVID vaccine safety with their phoneson September 7, 2021 at 2:04 pm
The v-safe registry lets inoculated people report their experiences, including serious suspected side effects, directly to the CDC through smartphones, adding to the data gathered from clinical trials ...