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Bloomington company helps produce, distribute millions of Moderna, Johnson & Johnson vials



BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A company in Bloomington is ready to get COVID-19 vaccines out more quickly.

This video sent to us by Catalent Biologics gives us an inside look at its COVID-19 vaccine production line. It’s designed to be among the fastest systems. The robotic technology inspects, labels and packages the glass vials, filling hundreds of bottles each minute.

The vials can be one dose, like Johnson &Johnson, or multi-dose, like Moderna. I has produced millions of Moderna vaccines so far, and the system is on track to produce millions more.

“They are really important because they have unique capability,” said Suresh Mittal, distinguished professor of virology at Purdue University.

Dr. Mittal says companies like Catalent and its quick distribution of the vaccine vials are critical.

“It’s an exceptional announcement that even in Indiana, this facility is going to start bottling the vaccine,” he added.

The drug companies’ partnership with Catalent can help speed up the process, which Mittal says is important since President Joe Biden announced that there will now be enough vaccines for every adult by the end of May.

“Since the country requires a huge amount of vaccines, and outside the U.S. there’s a huge need,” said Mittal.

The quickness doesn’t compromise quality since each vial is also inspected as part of the process. Dr. Mittal says it’s important to understand that there are companies around the country helping produce and distribute the vaccine.

“Any normal person would think that company is doing everything about that vaccine. That is not the case,” he explained. “They take the full responsibilities, but they have a number of partners, and many times, the public would never know those partners. Since it is a huge issue, we are also starting to know some of the partners.”

Since this collaboration started with Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, Catalent has hired hundreds of new employees to begin 24/7 manufacturing schedules.

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