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The first Vaxtractor was deployed in early December. With incredible precision and a filling rate of 250 syringes per hour, Vaxtractor can significantly ease the workload during the upcoming booster campaign. The machine was used in recent weekends to support the booster vaccination of Erasmus MC staff. Several thousands of staff were vaccinated. The initial findings are positive.
As well as taking huge numbers of tests and vaccinating as many people as possible, healthcare workers also have to fill syringes during large-scale vaccination campaigns. Drawing the vaccine has to be done carefully and is an extremely time-consuming and therefore costly job.
With one Vaxtractor, two employees can automatically fill some 2,000 syringes per day. Six employees would previously have been needed for this, which leaves four staff free for core healthcare duties.
Wilfred Weijers, owner of Atlas, devised the Vaccine extractor and engaged technology developer and producer Demcon for the further Vaxtractor development and production. They analysed its user friendliness with support from GGD Brabant-Zuidoost (municipal health authority).
Ellis Jeurissen (Director of Public Health at GGD Brabant-Zuidoost): ‘Public-private partnerships are the future and we’re delighted to help with any innovative ideas that can help combat Covid-19. It’s fantastic that this has resulted in an end product that will also add value to other vaccination programmes.’
Weijers stated: ‘GGD Brabant-Zuidoost was really enthusiastic and they were open for our innovation. We were able to take a look at an XL vaccination location and learn a lot from the healthcare staff who were manually drawing syringes there. Such contact with these healthcare staff is vital as you can come up with a fantastic machine, but in the end the users need to be able and willing to work with it. That’s why the partnership with GGD Brabant-Zuidoost was so valuable as it helped us improve the design and make it more user friendly.’
The Vaxtractor was then tested and validated in clinical practice at Erasmus MC using Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The equipment was precise, safe and fast. It draws up exactly the right amount of vaccine, is bacteriologically clean and prevents needlestick injuries.
Dr. E.J. Ruijgrok (hospital pharmacist at Erasmus MC) stated: ‘The Vaxtractor can be used safely to draw up both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The machine can be used on a large scale, both in the hospital and outside, which will help us scale-up the Covid-19 vaccination programme.’
Vaccination campaigns around the world
Weijers is delighted with Erasmus MC’s positive conclusion: ‘We’re ready to increase our Vaxtractor production. The equipment is after all not only suitable for hospitals and injection locations, but also for the larger GP practices. And it can be used for more than just coronavirus and flu vaccination campaigns; it can also be used during all vaccination campaigns, now and in the future.’