Vaccine Manufacturing moves by Sanofi, Pfizer & AstraZeneca

We explore pharmaceutical manufacturing developments, from modern endemics to automation advances, with Sanofi, Pfizer & AstraZeneca

After reports of an Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) shortage, we take a look at some of the biggest vaccine manufacturers in the industry. 

While Sanofi has said it is capable of supplying India with a newly approved IPV vaccine, AstraZeneca has partnered with Celonis to automate repetitive tasks and make pharmaceutical manufacturing easier for its employees. 

Manufacturing advances in vaccine development against Polio and COVID-19

Polio is a virus that spreads between people who have been in contact with contaminated food or water. While many people do not experience any symptoms, in the worst cases, polio can devastate the nerves and cause paralysis in the legs. A vaccine was created in 1952 and has saved millions of lives.

For most countries Polio is a tragic part of their history, but the disease remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, due to rumours that the vaccine is a project to secretly sterilise Muslim children.

India became Polio-free in 2011 and babies receive their four separate Polio vaccines between two months and six years of age. With approximately 25m children born every year in India, that’s a lot of vaccines. 

Sanofi has received approval for its new polio vaccine, the IMOVAX-Polio and will discontinue its previous polio vaccine in India. The company will also manufacture millions of doses of BioNTech and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. 

Read more in our Top 10 Manufacturers in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Vaccine manufacturing at AstraZeneca

In the April edition of Manufacturing Digital magazine, we heard from Raaj Joshi, Director of Financial Controls and Compliance Transformation at AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical manufacturer which makes prescription medications and vaccines, such as the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Raaj discussed AstraZeneca's journey with Celonis, which has revolutionised its financial controls compliance and implemented a programme designed to enable three lines of defence that safeguard the company against financial misstatement and fraud, across management, internal controls and auditors. 

“The solution has had a positive impact on our employees, automating repetitive tasks that were previously time-consuming, removing a vast time burden,” Joshi told Manufacturing Digital. “Before using Celonis’ technology, certain controls we operated, such as our Manual Journals Bill, took up to 10 days' worth of preparation and then another three or four days to operate, however this entire process has now been completely automated.”

Read the full interview here


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