The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has partnered with the Stevanato Group to help solve a serious problem facing vaccine manufacturers as they scale up production — a global shortage of glass vials.
Stevanato has agreed to supply 100 million vials that can store up to 20 doses each, enough for 2 billion doses.
CEPI is a Norway-based foundation that finances vaccine development with donated funding. It has invested $829 million in nine COVID-19 vaccine candidates and is aiming to have an effective product in 12 to 18 months.
Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, highlighted the shortage of vials in a whistleblower complaint against the Trump administration, claiming that HHS ignored his early warnings of shortages of needed supplies for vaccines, including glass vials (DID, May 6).
“It could take up to two years to produce enough vials for U.S. vaccine needs, while some therapeutics will also require vials,” Bright said.
The Trump administration took steps this month to secure vials. It signed a $204 million contract with Corning for 164 million vials, and a $143 million contract with Alabama-based SiO2 Materials Science to produce glass-coated plastic containers. — Jordan Williams