News & Innovation

Preparing for COVID-19 vaccinations in Europe

July 27, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has touched all of mankind

The COVID-19 crisis has touched all of mankind, with no country immune from its devastating effects. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers worldwide are battling to save patients and prevent the spread of the virus to the uninfected population. Alongside these, multiple efforts to find a vaccine by pharmaceutical companies and alliances are also underway in many countries.1 The worldwide demand for a COVID-19 vaccine is estimated to be in the order of 7 billion doses. 2

Given BD’s long history in vaccine delivery, the company has been closely monitoring the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Several potential vaccine candidates are currently being tested by pharma companies the world over. It is anticipated that the vaccine will be a two-shot skin injection with special instructions for intramuscular administration. However, the type and the dose of the vaccine will be highly dependent on the results of the clinical trials.

A mass-scale vaccination of this kind is not possible without the availability of adequate numbers of syringes and needles for vaccine delivery. This requires advanced planning and partnership between governments and suppliers. As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of syringes and needles, BD is currently working with governments to ensure this availability. The company has ramped up the production of injection devices at its manufacturing sites worldwide, in anticipation of the surge in demand.

BD has a long history of assisting governments and healthcare stakeholders in times of crisis. During the H1N1 outbreak of 2009-2010, BD was one of the preferred partners of European governments, vaccine manufacturers and agencies like UNICEF. BD worked closely with all the stakeholders to ramp up the capacity to successfully meet the huge demand for syringes and needles.

A unique country vaccine model

BD’s immunisation solution includes a unique country vaccine model, in addition to advice on selecting the right device, supply chain management and educational services.

The unique country vaccine model developed by BD enables individual countries to calculate the volumes of injection devices needed for their populations. It allows healthcare authorities to classify their population into priority groups such as elderly people, healthcare workers, children, etc. The tool can then be used to calculate the volumes for each group, depending on the priority assigned. It also features a vaccine-saving calculator that computes cost savings when dose sparing technology is utilised. The country vaccine model allows countries to consider their unique requirements, thereby permitting a planned and effective stocking strategy for vaccination. The model uses the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Influenza Model of 20183 as a reference.

BD also recognises that the success of such vaccination campaigns is crucially dependent on a correct understanding of the target population and the right product. The company’s immunisation solution provides advice on the selection of the right device. The use of the dose sparing/vaccine saving BD Flu+™ syringes allows for 2 – 19% additional doses per vial, significantly reducing wastage.4 The design of the BD Flu+™and its integrated needle also make it safe and easy to use. Solutions are also provided that enable the user to choose the right syringe combination and safety device to prevent needlestick injuries.

An efficient supply chain that ensures the transport and timely availability of the devices to the customer from the company’s production facilities in Europe and around the world is an important part of the BD solution. Also, a comprehensive educational services program for healthcare workers that provides and deploys the right training for injection techniques adds value to the BD immunisation solution.

Healthcare companies are working in unison to prepare the world for vaccination against COVID-19. BD is playing a major part in that story, having established itself as a provider of choice for injection devices.

 


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References

1 https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/media/resource-centre/our-contribution-to-the-fight-against-2019-ncov/. Accessed May 14, 2020.

2 https://www.gatesnotes.com/Health/What-you-need-to-know-about-the-COVID-19-vaccine Accessed May 14, 2020.

3 https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/pdf/2018-Influenza-Guidance.pdf,accessed 10th July 2020

4. STRAUSS, K., VANZUNDERT, A., FRID, A., & COSTIGLIOLA, V. (2006). Pandemic influenza preparedness: The critical role of the syringe. Vaccine, 24(22), 4874–4882. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2006.02.056

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