Producing the vaccine
After the vaccine has been successfully researched, designed and trialled, it needs to be produced at scale so there is enough for all those who need it. The expertise of a variety of technicians is vital at this stage.
Frozen lab-produced master bank cells, which contain the genetic instructions on how the human body needs to fight the virus, are thawed. They are then transferred into larger and larger solutions of media to grow. When there’s enough to fill a 1000 litre bioreactor, the solution goes through a process of separation, purification and concentration.
Throughout this process, conditions need to be just right.
Instrumentation technicians like Michael, are key to making sure that the apparatus and machinery involved is operating correctly. This requires analysing and resolving issues expertly and as quickly as possible.
Here you’re not coming to work and doing the same thing every day, you have to think. That’s what I like most.
Elsewhere, process technicians like Joe, oversee the entire manufacturing process – executing, monitoring and controlling production to ensure it is at the right sterility, humidity and temperature to create viable batches of vaccine.
We need to be able to recognise if something isn’t working properly or needs changing.
Joe at CPI
Throughout the process you also have technicians tasked with quality assurance, ensuring that production complies with procedure, standards and regulation. That can be carried out by analytical technicians, like Dominika, who checks that the treatments to be received by patients are at the highest possible standard.
It’s really rewarding knowing that thanks to your work, patients receive safe treatments that will help to save lives in the long-run.
Dominika, University of Manchester