Schott delivers pharma vials to package 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines

Type-I Borosilicate glass for a potential Covid-19 vaccine

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Schott delivers pharma vials to package 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines
Glass vials as packaging for a potential Covid-19 vaccine. Photo - Getty Images (Schott via internet)

Schott supports the world’s fight against Covid -19 with vials capable of holding up to 2 billion vaccination doses. The glassmaker and pharma packaging specialist has reached agreements with leading pharmaceutical companies, including partners of ‘Operation Warp Speed’ – the US government initiative to serve local vaccine production needs. The agreements become effective immediately, and first vials are being delivered to companies in North America, Europe, and Asia. According to the company’s press statement, Schott is ideally positioned to meet the challenging demand situation, as it has been maintaining a global and already validated production network for decades. Even before the expansion, the company already produced more than 11 billion pharma containers for life-saving drugs per annum.

Schott invests EUR 350 million

“We have invested EUR 350 million (approximately Rs 3000 crore) in recent months”, said chief executive officer Frank Heinricht, “Demand for high-quality pharma packaging has been high before Coronavirus. The fact that we had set up an investment program in 2019 now enables us to ramp up production quickly.”

Schott’s 20 production sites for pharma glass and packaging are validated by regulatory bodies and pharma companies. This means that additional capacities can be used immediately without further regulatory efforts. More importantly, all major pharma companies and many other players in the market have been processing the company’s vials on their fill and finish lines for many years. “Hence, no time-consuming adaptations of fill and finish equipment will slow down vaccine distribution. As time is a luxury the industry doesn’t have, it is common sense to rely on tried-and-true packaging solutions,” Heinricht said.

Schott has the basic infrastructure to add vial production capacity at many of its sites, including the US and Germany, for another 1 billion vaccine doses. The best possible production location is currently being discussed with respective state officials.

Schott is one of the world’s leading experts in the production of type-I Borosilicate glass, the gold standard for drug packaging for over a century. The material is best suited for potential Covid-19 vaccines, as it avoids the interactions between containers and vaccines that can limit vaccine effectiveness.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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