Emerging Materials Influencing the Growth of Global Vaccine Packaging
Need for better primary packaging materials, sustainable options, and customized storage during transport drives new product development
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The materials used for pharmaceutical vaccine packaging vary, and many are well-established in the market for the transport and storage of vaccines. Despite the wide variety, some of the most used vaccine packaging materials remain challenged by glass delamination, instability, and pH alteration over time. The global COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for not only targeted vaccines but for effective packaging materials that can help maintain their efficacy. With various vaccine formulations being adopted, customized storage conditions during product transport is mandatory.
To distribute COVID-19 vaccines (and others) across the globe without damage or incidence of cross- contamination, packaging products such as bags, vials, ampoules, special freezers, containers, and many others are used. The manufacture of these products requires high strength and performance materials that will outperform conventional materials, which are often unable to meet the vaccine handling standards. For example, traditional borosilicate glass is prone to breakage and often exhibits delamination issues, thereby impacting drug efficacy. To address these issues, manufacturers are investigating alternative materials such as aluminosilicate glass, which minimizes particulate contamination and crack formation.
To cater to global demand of ultra-cold chain requirements needed for COVID-19 vaccine storage and transport, innovations such as phase-changing materials and smart materials are being tested for manufacturing qualified freezers and containers. Additionally, use of smart packaging can help ensure supply chain transparency with added security.
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