Exclusive: TV program Vesti Visits to the Ufa Plant Where Sputnik V Vaccines Are Bottled and Packaged


Bashkortostan State TV and Radio Broadcasting Company, 20 April 2021 

The Republic of Bashkortostan has received another batch of coronavirus vaccines. In fact, it is a plant in Ufa, the Republic's capital, that is bottling and packaging the Gam-Covid-Vac vaccine, also known as Sputnik V. Murat Zaripov, the only media representative to be allowed inside, reports.

3 shifts a day: manufacturing process here almost does not stop. The vaccine's first and second doses have their own dedicated production lines. The plant is using incredibly complex equipment that is capable of automatically checking each vial for dosage level, seal integrity, glass defects and unwanted inclusions. Even labels are put under special scrutiny.


Zulfia Gareyeva, label stamper at the Pharmstandard-UfaVITA plant says: 

‘The label needs to be even, with no broken edges. It should also include variables: the date and the serial number. We check each vial for this information.’

A single series is 240 liters of the vaccine. The vaccine's active component is ready for production when it arrives at the Ufa Vitamin Plant. Each batch goes through several stages of lab control.

‘I am now preparing samples of a culture medium to assess the vaccine's efficacy.’

It is only after successfully passing entry control that the vaccine can be bottled into vials. This is an extremely high-stake process: so much so that ours is the first news crew to be given access to the plant. But first, we need proper gear.

The clean zone rooms are kept as clean as possible to eliminate even the minutest chance of foreign particles getting inside the vials.

This is a Class D room, meaning that you can only enter it in protective clothing. Here, they wash and sterilise the vaccine vials—which are still empty at this point. From this room, they enter the next zone: the aseptic bottling zone. Access to it is highly restricted, as that is where the finished vaccine is poured into vials.

That zone is perfectly sterile, and employees have to go through special training before they can work there.

The finishing touches are added to each vaccine batch in the packaging zone. The release of the vaccine in ampoules has been established so far only in Ufa.

Elmira Sysnova, packaging line operator at the Pharmstandard-UfaVITA plant:

‘So I scan the first package and then the last package. The light comes up green. Which means that everything's in order. No errors here. This zone is also where we check for stamps and QR codes. See? That girl over there is doing that. And finally, we pack away the finished box. Here I go, sealing it.’

Each of these modestly sized boxes contains 5 individual vaccine doses and an instruction manual. A special digital record-keeping system allows to monitor each step of the manufacturing process.


Albina Sharipkulova, shift supervisor of the injectable packaging zone at Pharmstandard-UfaVITA plant:

‘At the end of the shift, we draw up a balance: a summary of our work. We see how many vaccines we've packed, and how much we've gotten done. And then we write everything that we've done during the shift off our resource balance sheet. We have packaging material write-offs too. Basically, whatever we do here, we enter into this system.’

All the processes are automated to the highest degree, ensuring that the finished vaccine spends as little time as possible in room-temperature environments. The ready-to-ship boxes are stored at temperatures of minus 30 Celsius. The plant has the capacity to produce 39 million vials per month. But the actual output depends on how much of the vaccine it receives; and those figures may grow substantially in the nearest future.






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