World-first vaccination gun cuts risk of self-injection

New Zealand farmers and vets will be the first in the world to benefit from Simcro’s revolutionary new safety injector, Sekurus™, which allows operators to administer one handed subcutaneous (under the skin) injections, keeping their hands clear of the injection site.

“The Sekurus™ injector has a radically different design. It features a patented ‘self-tenting’ needle guard and two-step mechanism that allows the operator to tent the animal’s skin and deliver the vaccine in a one-handed action. This means the other hand can be kept away from the injection site virtually eliminating the risk of accidental self-injection,” explains Simcro director and manager of research and development Rod Walker.

Traditionally, operators have to use one hand to hold the injector while grasping a fold of the animal’s skin with the other hand to prepare or ‘tent’ it for the injection. Every year farmers and vets suffer needle-stick or self-injection injuries as a consequence of having their hand close to the injection site.

“All the operator has to do is activate the trigger and press the Sekurus™ injector against the animal’s skin. The injector automatically ‘tents’ or grips the animal’s skin prior to it delivering the injection. It’s simple and safe. We believe this is a world-first for vaccination technology and it opens up huge market opportunities for Simcro,” comments Walker.

“This level of operator safety has simply not been available until now and is particularly significant when treating large animals in difficuilt situations. The action of Sekurus™ also ensures the injection is delivered quicker, more precisely, and with less stress to the animal. With Sekurus™ now available we believe the benefits of increased operator safety and animal welfare has raised the bar for what farmers will expect,” he adds.

Hamilton-based Simcro specialises in providing customised and innovative animal health delivery solutions to the pharmaceutical industry.

The Sekurus™ ‘self-tenting’ injector will be launched in New Zealand this month in conjunction with a new vaccine, Bopriva™ from Pfizer Animal Health.

Bopriva™ is Pfizer’s unique new vaccine for the temporary reduction of testosterone in bulls, which reduces aggressive and sexual behaviours, making bulls more easily manageable in larger mob sizes with reduced pasture damage.

Pfizer product manager Wayne Clough says his company felt it was particularly important to find a vaccinator with safety features to deliver Bopriva™.

“In New Zealand this vaccine will be used in bulls so we don’t want people accidentally injecting themselves with it. Simcro have come up with a very innovative solution. The gun has been tried and tested extensively on farms in New Zealand and overseas and the results are excellent,” comments Clough.

Clough says that operators quickly get the feel of the new injector and they find it a very simple and quick way to vaccinate bulls.

“This is an all-round New Zealand world-first innovation that will have applications in overseas markets as well,” says Clough.

“By being able to keep their hands away from the injection site, operators can avoid needlestick injuries and injecting themselves, plus other possible injuries that could come from being so close to a large and boisterous bull. Farmers and vets in the future will wonder how we managed to vaccinate bulls before the ‘self-tenting’ injector,” adds Rod Walker.

Simcro plans to market the Sekurus™ ‘self-tenting’ injector for other applications and other animals in early 2010.