Inside the factory making the Covid vaccine

BBC Breakfast has been given a world-first look inside the Covid vaccine factory Boris Johnson called "the saviour of humanity".

Video Transcript

- Dawn, do you remember what Boris Johnson said about these labs?

- No, I don't.

RAVI LIMAYE: I think he said that this lab could be a salvation for mankind.

- Wales!

[LAUGHTER]

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- You were recruited just to get the vaccine out?

- Just to get the vaccine out. So I'm here solely to save the world.

[LAUGHTER]

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- So we can't talk to you because you're in the super sterile bit?

- Is it what, sorry?

- [LAUGHS]

CHRIS WRIGHT: So the product is mixed before it's sent to this filling line, where it's dispensed into glass vials. We then apply a rubber overseal and an aluminum overseal. And then, they trade off at the other end of the machine.

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- The machine is using a total of 15 cameras to inspect a variety of different angles of the vial. There could be little bits of glass particulate, and the fill level might not be right.

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- But you're checking again, you're not just throwing them out, because you don't want to waste any.

- Absolutely. We can't waste a drop. We've got to get as many in arms as possible.

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TERRY BYRNE: These have now been released, ready for packing. So the team will label the product so that it's available to be packed into outer cases down the line. The inspection at the end of the line is looking for any abnormalities to the label, any smudging of the batch number, the expiry date, all the things that could go wrong with a vial is where it's picked up at this stage.

So once the labels have been applied, the vials then reach this stage, which is an in feed into a packing machine. And then, the vials are packed away into the carton. The cartons then make their way through a weight checker, and then are sealed with tamper proof seals, ready for dispatch.

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RAVI LIMAYE: It was a call which actually came into our security office. And security-- one of the security guards passed the line to me and said that somebody from the government of the UK wants to speak with you. Certainly as time went by, I started realizing that this could be a huge moment in one's life to make such a big difference to a pandemic which has almost stopped the world.

It was in the destiny of this site, and destiny of the team working here. And in India we famously say, your destiny is written here, you know, it will happen. So probably that's what it was meant to be, and it's really a proud moment.

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- There's a massive weight of responsibility because obviously we're producing the AstraZeneca vaccine for UK distribution. So we know without us, there's people not receiving vaccination against COVID.

RAVI LIMAYE: I really will cherish every bit of it. This will stay with me for life.

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