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Large-scale vaccination campaigns involve complex logistical processes. For example, healthcare workers not only have to administer the shots, but also fill the syringes. This “drawing up” is a time-consuming and expensive job that must be done with the utmost precision. Atlas can help in this with its Vaxtractor that can draw up 250 syringes an hour with pinpoint accuracy.
The Dutch invention was successfully deployed for the first time in early December. Thousands of employees at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam received their booster vaccination with the help of the Vaxtractor. In this university medical centre, the Vaxtractor was previously tested in clinical practice and validated with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The conclusions were clear: the machine draws up the right amount of vaccine, is bacteriologically clean, and prevents needlestick injuries.
According to Dr Liesbeth Ruijgrok, hospital pharmacist at Erasmus MC, the Vaxtractor contributes to scaling up Covid 19 vaccinations. “The Vaxtractor can be safely used on a large scale for drawing up Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, both in the hospital and outside.” With the Vaxtractor, two employees can fill about two thousand syringes a day. Without the machine, six employees would be needed for this.
Wilfred Weijers, the owner of Atlas and inventor of the “Vaccine extractor”, emphasizes that the Vaxtractor is not only suitable for coronavirus and flu vaccination campaigns. “The device can support all vaccination campaigns, whether in hospitals, at vaccination sites, or in larger general practices. In any case, we are ready to expand the production of the Vaxtractor.”
The development of the Vaxtractor is a textbook example of a public-private partnership. To produce the machine, Atlas enlisted the help of the technology developer and manufacturer Demcon. Eltrex Motion provided the drive and positioning technology for filling the syringes with extreme precision. The Brabant-Zuidoost municipal health service (GGD) helped to optimise user-friendliness.
“We were allowed to observe at an XL vaccination location at GGD Brabant-Zuidoost and learned a lot from the healthcare employees who drew up syringes manually,” says Weijers. “Contact with the healthcare workers has been very important, because it has enabled us to make the design even more user-friendly. You can come up with a nice machine, but ultimately the users have to be able and willing to work with it.”
“Public-private partnerships are the future and we are happy to help with innovative ideas that take the fight against Covid-19 to the next level” says Ellis Jeurissen, director of public health at GGD Brabant-Zuidoost. “It’s fantastic that this has led to an end product that will also be of added value for other vaccination programmes.” Coen Waltman, Director of Eltrex Motion, agrees: “We are proud that as a partner we have been able to contribute to a great innovation like Atlas’s Vaxtractor.”