Shortage of giant sterile liners threatens global vaccines ...

World

Shortage of giant sterile liners threatens global vaccines rollout

Manufacturers come close to halting production over scarcity of specialist plastic bags

Hannah Kuchler and Joe Miller

Vaccine manufacturers are struggling to secure supplies of giant plastic bags used in bioreactors that mix pharmaceutical ingredients, creating a bottleneck that threatens the rollout of Covid-19 shots around the world.

Some vaccine makers have been days away from stalling production because of the shortage of the bags, which can hold up to 2,000 litres of material, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Covid-19 jabs developed by companies including BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax are made in the bags — which are used as sterile liners in the tanks where the vaccines are produced — though they use differing sizes...

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