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S’pore-developed automated Covid-19 vaccine dispenser deployed to at least 7 vaccination centres

SINGAPORE — An automated vaccine dispenser, developed in Singapore in just six weeks, has been deployed to at least seven vaccination centres to take away the need for syringes to be filled manually.

S’pore-developed automated Covid-19 vaccine dispenser deployed to at least 7 vaccination centres

A nurse is seen using a vaccine dispenser which was designed and developed to address the labour-intensive steps of the vaccination process.

SINGAPORE — An automated vaccine dispenser, developed in Singapore in just six weeks, has been deployed to at least seven vaccination centres to take away the need for syringes to be filled manually.

This will not only improve safety, but allow healthcare providers to focus on more urgent tasks, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and equipment supplier Sysmatic Global said in a joint-press release on Thursday (Sep 30).

The companies, which co-developed the automated vaccine inoculation dispenser (Avid), said that the machine was designed to address the labour-intensive steps of the vaccination process.

When asked how much time is saved, a Thomson Medical nurse manager using Avid told TODAY that it “takes about half the time to fill one syringe using the machine, versus doing it manually”.

A*Star said that Avid takes about five minutes to extract the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the vial and fill it into six syringes.

At present, Avid only supports the management of vials used to contain the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines — though there is potential for it to be customised for the Moderna vaccines as well.

Avid is a collaboration between A*Star’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre, research institute Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology and Sysmatic Global. It was developed within six weeks from conceptualisation.

Thomson Medical, a vaccination centre operator, also supported the development and trials of the machine.

Typically, healthcare providers will have to extract individual doses of a specified amount of Covid-19 vaccine using syringes, after it has been thawed and diluted in a vial, A*Star said.

Avid automates extracting the vaccine from the vial into six individual syringes, including the dispersing of bubbles inside the syringes.

The machine then automatically uncaps and recaps the syringes during the transfer of vaccine from vials to syringes.

“It is easy to use at just the push of some buttons, only needing simple training without any special qualifications required,” A*Star added.

In its press release, the agency highlighted some benefits of replacing the manual step of filling injection syringes with vaccine liquid.

One of it is the reduction of workload for healthcare providers. This allows them to focus their attention on interacting and communicating with people receiving the vaccinations.

And as the filling of syringes is done by automation, it will not only be “accurate, consistent, and fast”, but it reduces risks of cross-contamination and vaccine wastage, A*Star said.

Furthermore, it improves the safety for healthcare providers by reducing the handling of sharp syringes during the extraction step.

Avid weighs less than 25kg, which allows it to be easily deployed to any vaccination centre.

To date, it has been deployed to at least seven vaccination centres that administer the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

TODAY has sought comment from the Ministry of Health on its plans for Avid’s roll-out to other vaccination centres.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine vaccination A*Star Thomson Medical automation

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