Syringes for COVID-19 vaccines added to list of 'K-quarantine' technologies

By Lim Chang-won Posted : February 19, 2021, 10:10 Updated : February 19, 2021, 10:10

President Moon Jae-in inspects a special syringe for COVID-19 vaccination during his trip to a Poonglim Pharmatech plant in Gunsan on February 18.[Yonhap News Photo]

SEOUL -- A home-made special syringe for COVID-19 vaccination has been added to a list of innovative "K-quarantine" technologies that have been benchmarked by many countries. K-quarantine refers to various anti-epidemic products developed by South Korea to combat COVID-19, such as diagnostic devices and a drive-thru diagnostic system introduced for the quick screening of virus carriers.

"The power of co-prosperity in the midst of a crisis has created our own achievements that no one can match," President Moon Jae-in said on February 18 during his field inspection of a syringe plant run by Poonglim Pharmatech, a medical device manufacturer, in Gunsan some 180 kilometers (112 miles) southwest of Seoul.

With the help of Samsung Electronics, Poonglim has established a smart production system capable of manufacturing more than 10 million low dead space (LDS) syringes per month. An LDS syringe limits the dead space that exists between the syringe hub and needle to minimize wasted vaccine doses. It can be injected up to five times per bottle of vaccine with a regular syringe, but a Poonglim syringe enables the safe injection of COVID-19 vaccines more than six times.

Poonglim, which has applied for international patents in the U.S. and the European Union, is now flooded with a huge volume of orders from many countries. The safety and performance of Poonglim's needle and syringe have been proven in South Korea and other countries.

South Korean syringes "once again showed the excellence of K-quarantine," Moon said at a conference attended by two other LDS syringe makers, Shina Corporation and Doowon Meditec. "I'm very happy to inform the public of the importance and excellence of home-made syringes, which are essential products for vaccination."

"The world's attention is focused on the minimum residual vaccine injection, which can inoculate one more person per bottle of vaccine, because the supply of COVID-19 vaccines is not enough around the world right now," Moon said, adding that global pharmaceutical companies and even countries with advanced medical systems are making desperate efforts to secure LDS syringes.

Moon said that LDS syringes would contribute to boosting the popularity of quarantine products such as diagnostic devices, masks and cleanroom suits produced by South Korea, which has worked out a series of innovative methods to fight COVID-19.

South Korea has introduced a walk-thru system that reduces the time taken for the screening of patients and other methods. A "glove-wall" system that allows doctors to examine people from the other side of a protective wall. A dedicated app monitors those in obligatory self-quarantine for two weeks, utilizing a GPS function to make the alarm sound if users violate guidelines.

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