SiO2 increases vial capacity for COVID-19 vaccines

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

July 2, 2020 -- Advanced materials company SiO2 Materials Science has increased the manufacturing capacity of its plastic medical-grade vials to help meet the demand for COVID-19 vaccines.

The Alabama-based company creates its syringes, vials, and cartridges using a patented technology that produces a glass-like barrier on a plastic surface. Because the containers aren't glass, they don't require a sand-to-glass supply chain and can be made faster than traditional glass containers, the company noted.

With the expanded capacity, SiO2 can produce 400 million vials to store novel coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics. The company is also on schedule to hit its goal of producing 1.2 billion dose-capacity containers by the end of 2020.

The expansion comes after SiO2 received a $143 million U.S. government contract to accelerate its production process in June. Since then, the company has created 150 jobs and has plans to add two new sites to its campus in Auburn.

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