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Career Story: Associate Director Of Vaccine Filling And Packaging Operations

Associate Director Of Vaccine Filling And Packaging Operations

Job Title: Associate Director Filling And Packaging Operations

Type of Company: I work for a non profit organization that is owned by the state of Massachusetts. We are licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to produce vaccines for human use. We are also involved in discovering new vaccines.

Education: BS in Biology Framingham State College •• AS in Liberal Arts Massachusetts Bay Community College

Previous Experience: I worked as a Manager of Aseptic Filling and Packaging in a pharmaceutical company that specialized in hard-to-fill liquids and medicines

Job Tasks: My primary responsibility is to oversee the sterile filling, labeling, and packaging of vaccines. The manufacturing area where the vaccines are filled is called a "cleanroom." A cleanroom is an ultra clean area where temperature, air pressure, humidity, and airflow are strictly control. The technicians who work in these rooms dress in special cleanroom suites so they don not contaminate the area. A lot of time is spent ensuring no bacteria, virus, fungi, or mold contaminate the vaccines we produce. The vaccines are distributed throughout the United States and we supply 1000's of vials of vaccine free to the state of Massachusetts for individuals who can't afford them. A batch of vaccines takes approximately one week to fill and a typical batch is about 260,000 vials. During the week I oversee staff and ensure all the work needed to prepare a batch is done correctly.

I schedule the tasks that need to be done during week, which include sterilization of our equipment, cleaning the cleanroom, setting up all the automated equipment, and preparing the documentation needed for each batch. I am also responsible for labeling and packaging the vaccines for distribution. Once all of the vials for a particular have passed strict quality control testing each vial is inspected to ensure it was filled correctly and that there are no defects. The batch of vials are the labeled package in an automated packaging line that measures 140 feet long.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job are the people who work for me. My entire staff is very professional, flexible and take tremendous pride in their work. I also like the fact that I make a difference in people's lives. Without the vaccines we produce thousands of people each year would get very ill and many would die.

The worst part of my job can be time it takes to fill a batch of vaccine. Sometimes the equipment we use may act up and slow down the process. Unfortunately once we start filling a batch there is no going back. We will do everything in our power in order to finish the batch. Sometimes I'll work 24 hours in a single day.

Job Tips:
1. A degree in Biotechnology or Biology will greatly improve your chances.

2. Take a job as an internship at a pharmaceutical company or a lab.

3. Once you get a job learn as much as you can, be a sponge, and work hard

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