The hottest vaccine bottle in the world is in urge

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Vaccine bottle in a global emergency? Chinese enterprises have made great efforts in manufacturing borosilicate glass, with an annual production capacity of more than 8billion vaccine bottles

recently, it was reported that the vaccine spring testing machine has passed the detection of leaf springs, and the bottle is "in urgent need" all over the world, and China's borosilicate glass is facing the problem of "neck sticking". In response to this problem, on January 19, a person in charge of Kexing holding Biotechnology Co., Ltd. told the 21st Century Business Herald that there was not such a large demand for vaccine bottles such as vials in normal years, but now with the promotion of large-scale production of vaccines, the demand has soared, and the supply will certainly face challenges in the short term. As the main raw material of vaccine bottles, borosilicate glass also needs to overcome many technical difficulties. Why does borosilicate glass become a bottleneck

in fact, some people were concerned about the supply of vaccine bottles long before the vaccine was launched. In July 2020, Zhang Wenhong, director of the infection department of Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, publicly said that "the output of glass bottles containing vaccines is more difficult than vaccines", because "glass bottles should first have enough glass and enough manufacturers". Previously, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft in the United States, also warned that "even vaccine bottles and potting equipment, the world does not have enough reserves". On January 19, Xinhua news agency quoted a report by Hu Wenyan, executive vice president of China biochemical pharmaceutical industry association, saying that China's vaccine bottles are roughly divided into two types: vials of penicillin and pre encapsulation. The former needs to be extracted with syringes, and the latter is a combination of glass bottles and drug pushers, which can realize direct injection. Both of them use medium borosilicate glass. At present, the materials used in medical glass bottles are mainly sodium calcium glass and borosilicate glass. Medium borosilicate glass is internationally recognized as a safe drug packaging material, which can not only fully ensure the safety and stability of drugs, but also prevent adverse reactions between drugs and low-grade packaging and endanger human health. It is also the main choice of several major international pharmaceutical companies. However, the medical glass on the domestic market in China is mainly low borosilicate glass and sodium calcium glass. As early as 2011, China's relevant departments have increased the replacement of borosilicate glass in order to reduce the packaging defects of pharmaceutical glass bottles and strengthen the consistency evaluation. But at that time, the high cost and difficult processing were all obstacles. Dai Jichu, deputy chief engineer of Kaisheng Junheng, a pharmaceutical glass product enterprise under China National Building Materials Group, introduced in a recent interview that there are many technical difficulties to overcome in the manufacture of borosilicate glass tubes, such as high quenching temperature and less cosolvent, which make raw materials difficult to melt; Another example is that the production process is not in place and the lack of platinum during melting will lead to defects such as stripes and nodules in the glass tube. In the international market, the main manufacturers of borosilicate glass tubes include Schott in Germany and Corning in the United States. Among them, enterprises such as Schott group in Germany started the production of borosilicate glass tubes earlier, and they have a long history in technology, equipment and other aspects. The quality of glass tubes is internationally recognized. The company's vaccine bottle has three advantages. First, high temperature resistance; Second, high stability; Third, after hundreds of years of testing, Schott vaccine bottles can also prevent harmful substance pollution. As a result, Schott alone accounts for about half of the global market share. Salvador Ruggiero, a spokesman for the company, told German television 1 not long ago that more than 100 vaccine research institutions have ordered vaccine bottles from it. This means that three out of every four covid-19 vaccine projects in the world use Schott borosilicate medicinal glass bottles, including Chinese institutions. Frank heinrichter, chairman of the board of directors of Schott group, said in an interview with German media, "there will never be any delivery bottleneck." According to him, Schott alone has increased production capacity in more than 10 factories around the world, including Germany and Hungary, and can produce 2billion vaccine bottles a year. Can China make borosilicate glass

the key to cracking the vaccine "bottle" neck is whether China can make borosilicate glass. Xinhua News Agency reported on January 19 that from the early sodium calcium glass, low borosilicate glass to medium borosilicate glass, China's pharmaceutical glass industry has been upgrading, and the technology of medium borosilicate glass has been maturing. Some domestic enterprises have overcome the two processes of molding and control respectively, and some have achieved controllable industrial links. "There are few enterprises producing borosilicate glass in the world, but Chinese enterprises are among them." Hu Wenyan said that compared with established pharmaceutical glass enterprises such as Schott and Corning, although Chinese enterprises entered relatively late, they also mastered relevant technologies. It is reported that the manufacturing process of borosilicate glass is mainly divided into molding and control. The former is usually formed by the liquid glass through the mold at one time, and the bottle is thicker than the tube process; In the pipe drawing process, it is particularly difficult to pull the liquid glass into a slender pipe. At present, there are not many enterprises that master the pipe drawing technology in the world. However, in recent years, many domestic enterprises have made great efforts in the manufacturing of borosilicate glass and made certain achievements. For example, China building materials Kaisheng Junheng adopts full oxygen electric melting technology, and the No. 2 kiln achieves stable mass production; Shandong Pharmaceutical glass has made deep breakthroughs in molding technology; Chongqing Zhengchuan has built a borosilicate glass kiln. In October 2020, Dai Jichu's enterprise and partner achieved phased results after years of technical research. The kiln for preparing borosilicate glass tubes was officially put into operation, and the daily output is currently tons. In 2021, the main cost lies in the service life. The enterprise plans to ignite two kilns in Handan, Hebei Province at the same time, with an annual output of about 12000 tons. Many domestic enterprises have worked in the field of borosilicate glass and penetrated into the whole industrial chain. According to the data, there are 23 China boron silicon related enterprises whose business scope includes "medium boron silicon and neutral boron silicon", and whose status is in operation, surviving, moving in and moving out, about half of which were established within three years. There are more than 2500 enterprises whose business scope includes "pharmaceutical packaging materials and containers, special equipment for glass production, glass packaging containers", and whose status is in business, existing, moving in and moving out. In addition, established pharmaceutical glass enterprises have also successively established factories in China, becoming a part of the domestic industrial chain. For example, Schott glass tube has built a borosilicate glass tube factory in Zhejiang. It is expected that samples can be provided from the factory for local customers in China for compliance certification and local supply will be gradually realized in the first half of 2021. Recently, Schott also told the media that the company has production bases in Suzhou and Jinyun, and is expanding production capacity. Linchunmei, general manager of Corning Pharmaceutical Technology China, also said in an interview recently that in view of the market demand for more production capacity and China's attention to borosilicate glass tubes, the company will build a factory in Bengbu, Anhui Province, China. It is expected to officially put into production in the third quarter of 2021, with an annual output of 20000 tons of glass tubes. The products will be supplied to the global pharmaceutical packaging market. Can the vaccine bottle capacity keep up

the above-mentioned person in charge of Kexing told the 21st Century Business Herald that the public is worried that the vaccine bottle has become a bottleneck. The main reason is that the production capacity of the vaccine bottle will not keep up in the short term. This is not a problem in normal years, but the demand for vaccines this year is often in the billions, which will undoubtedly bring challenges to the whole industry chain of vaccines. A person in charge of Sanofi Pasteur vaccine in China once calculated an account with the 21st Century Business Herald: there are about 7.5 billion people in the world today. It takes about 70% of the population, that is, 5.2 billion people, to form a population vaccination in the world. Most vaccines need two or even three injections, which means that at least 10billion doses of covid-19 vaccine are needed, while the previous eight major functional modified engineering plastics have only more than 3 billion vaccine production capacity in the world. "This means that while ensuring the supply of other vaccines, the production capacity of covid-19 needs to be tripled on the basis of all existing vaccine production capacity, which has brought great pressure on vaccine production, cold chain transportation and vaccination." According to the report released by Pacific medicine on May 10, if the covid-19 vaccine reaches 70% penetration rate and is injected three times per person, the global demand for covid-19 vaccine bottles will reach 15.947 billion. Can China's vaccine bottle production capacity keep up with such a surge in demand? For this problem, the China Vaccine Industry Association has previously made it clear that China has an industrial foundation for the production of high-quality vaccine bottles. According to incomplete statistics, the annual output can reach at least 8billion tubes, which can meet the production demand of covid-19 vaccine. According to the association, at present, there are more than 60 relevant packaging production enterprises in China, among which the production enterprises of controlled injection bottles for vaccines are mainly Ningbo Zhengli, Shuangfeng greenheim, etc., and the production enterprises of pre encapsulated syringes are mainly Shandong Weigao, Ningbo Zhengli, Shandong Pharmaceutical glass, BD, etc. "According to the production capacity of the above enterprises, after preliminary estimation, the annual output of vaccine bottles in China can reach at least 8billion." The association said that according to the global progress of covid-19 vaccine research and development, vaccine bottle manufacturers currently have sufficient preparation time and production capacity foundation. As long as covid-19 vaccine research and development is successful and the form and specification of packaging products are determined, vaccine bottle manufacturers can quickly release production capacity and continue to meet market demand in an orderly manner, there is no need to spend more money to buy microcomputer controlled products. In addition, many vaccine bottle manufacturers in China have connected with covid-19 vaccine R & D units to understand the production needs of vaccine bottles in advance, reserve raw materials, and arrange production according to the progress of vaccine R & D to ensure the production needs of vaccines. A person in charge of Shandong Pharmaceutical Glass Production Department said in an interview that the company is confident to meet the glass demand of covid-19 vaccine. According to the data disclosed by the media, Shandong Pharmaceutical glass has a capacity of about 200million medium borosilicate molded bottles and 687million medium borosilicate controlled series bottles. Zhengchuan Co., Ltd., another domestic borosilicate glass manufacturer, announced at the end of July this year that it would raise funds through public issuance of bonds for the production project of borosilicate medicinal glass and the research project of compatibility between borosilicate medicinal glass and drugs. "On the basis of realizing the production of borosilicate glass, from 2017 to may 2020, we continued to carry out key core technological transformation and research. 28 technological transformations laid the foundation for the stable mass production of No. 2 kiln and the realization of high standard independent manufacturing. At present, Kaisheng Junheng has signed contracts to build production bases in Qingdao, Chongqing, Nanchang, Zhenjiang and other places." Said Wang Xiaoxuan, general manager of China building materials Kaisheng Junheng Co., Ltd. The above-mentioned person in charge of Kexing said that although the demand for vaccine bottles is very large, the universal vaccination of vaccines is not achieved overnight, but is promoted step by step according to the population, age, demand and other factors. Billions of vaccine bottles are not produced at the same time, and relevant enterprises have enough time to prepare and respond

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