The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Central Laser Facility (CLF), a consortium of international researchers and specialists, has developed an approach for detecting falsified COVID-19 vaccines.

While current methods for detecting falsified vaccines rely on analysis performed mostly in specialized labs, the new approach involves handheld spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) for rapidly authenticating unopened vials of COVID-19 vaccines.

Source: Helen Towrie/STFCSource: Helen Towrie/STFC

According to the consortium, the SORS method conducts chemical analysis of the vaccine by shining a laser light into an intact vial of the vaccine. The light that emanates from the vial is subsequently inspected and indicates the presence of different ingredients.

Currently, SORS devices are already in use at airports and by firefighters, military personnel at borders and law enforcement to detect hazardous substances. The consortium reports that only slight modifications need to be made to enable the SORS device to detect falsified vaccines.

An article detailing the device, “Innovative method for rapid detection of falsified COVID-19 vaccines through unopened vials using handheld Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS),” appears in the journal Vaccine.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com