Most of the interest in the COVID-19 vaccine has centered on the pharmaceutical giants who manufacture it. But successful vaccine delivery also relies heavily on smaller firms whose contributions are just as vital, reports Alaina Johns for Keystone Edge.
NewAge Industries, Southampton, produces and assembles plastic and rubber tubing for everything from healthcare to home brewing. At the start of the pandemic, after being designated an essential business by Governor Wolf, production of critical vaccine equipment became priority one.
“What Operation Warp Speed is all about is the government can … prioritize what orders get done first,” says NewAge CEO Ken Baker. “Every third day, we get an Operation Warp Speed order that’s got to go to the top.”
Production is now running round the clock, six days a week.
The company’s products are essential because vaccines are created in single-use systems: a plastic bag or bottle with tubing, connectors, and filters that combine the ingredients for vaccine batches. Once a batch is done, new equipment is needed for another.
“We make those plumbing systems,” explains Baker. “Without those systems, pharmaceutical or biotech companies cannot make their vaccine.”
More about NewAge Industries’ role in the ongoing vaccine effort is at Keystone Edge, here.