#TeamVaccines

Koen's story

COVID-19 Vaccines ManufacturingBelgium

I'm Koen.

My wife is a doctor and I’m working from home, so I’ve had to balance long hours with looking after my kids. I can’t say it’s been easy, but I realise how lucky I am compared to a lot of people.

I'm part of the team responsible for manufacturing the vaccine to help as many people as possible across the world. No resource has been spared to make it happen. We started building new production lines in Belgium before the vaccine was even approved. We don’t normally do this as it’s such a big financial risk, but when we saw how many people were dying and suffering, we got together with other companies and decided to collaborate as much as possible to help each other scale up.

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We’ve done all this while never compromising on safety. In our manufacturing process here in Puurs, we have continuous safety checks. People have to record every step of the process, and other people check them. Should there be a problem with a medicine we have manufactured, we could trace it back to the day, even the hour that it was made. We can identify the people who were involved in the manufacturing process, the substances for that specific vial, and where those substances came from. We have many audits and inspections because safety is our priority.

No corners are being cut with COVID-19 vaccines – we are making sure we meet the highest safety and quality standards.

We are working day and night. Truly. We have worked around the clock and put all our energy in each step of the vaccine development, from research, to clinical studies, manufacturing, supply and support to the vaccinators. When I will look back, this will most probably be the most important professional achievement in my life, and I’m so proud that everyone across the pharmaceutical industry has come together like this.

What keeps me going most is the thought of contributing to saving lives. The vaccine will contribute to that.

It is only by working all together that we will put an end to this pandemic.

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