Low-cost SARS-CoV-2 vaccine homogenization system for Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vials

Jose Lima, Luísa Rocha, Cláudia Rocha, Paulo Costa


The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been affecting all sectors worldwide, and efforts have been targeting the enhancement of people’s health and labour conditions of collaborators belonging to healthcare institutions. The recent vaccines emerging against covid-19 are seen as a solution to address the problem that has already killed up to two million people. The preparation of the Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine requires a specific manipulation before its administration. A correct homogenization with saline solution is needed and, therefore, a manual process with a predefined protocol should be accomplished. This action can endanger the operators’ ergonomics due to the repetitive movement of the process. This paper proposes a low-cost prototype incorporating an arduino based embedded system actuating a servomotor to perform an autonomous vials’ homogenization allowing to redirect these healthcare workers to other tasks. Moreover, a contactless start order process was implemented to avoid contact with the operator and, consequently, the contamination. The prototype was successfully tested and recognised, and is being applied during the preparation of the covid-19 vaccines at the hospital pharmacy of Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, E.P.E., Portugal. It can be easily replicated since the source files to assemble it are provided by the authors.


Covid-19; Homogenization; Pharmacy preparations and compounding; SARS-CoV-2 vaccine

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijra.v10i4.pp340-352


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IAES International Journal of Robotics and Automation (IJRA)
ISSN 2089-4856, e-ISSN 2722-2586
This journal is published by the Institute of Advanced Engineering and Science (IAES) in collaboration with Intelektual Pustaka Media Utama (IPMU).

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