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US launches most complex vaccine distribution today as Covid soars

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Today, the US is launching its largest and most complicated vaccine distribution process in its history after Covid has continued to wreak havoc on its citizens for months. The site of the distribution, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is filled with tractor trailers loaded with suitcase-sized containers of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine.

US regulators authorised the vaccine from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech for use just Friday, with US marshals set to accompany the tightly-secured shipments from the factory to their final destinations. The president of the UPS Healthcare, Wes Wheeler, says they have spent months strategising with Operation Warp Speed officials and our healthcare customers on efficient vaccine logistics.

“…….and the time has arrived to put the plan into action.”

Pfizer’s dry-ice cooled packages can hold as many as 4,875 doses, with the first leg of their journey embarking from Kalamazoo to nearby airplanes. Workers will reportedly load the vaccines – which must be kept at sub-Arctic temperatures – onto the aircraft that will shuttle them to United Parcel Service or FedEx air cargo hubs in Louisville, Kentucky, and Memphis, Tennessee, respectively.

From there, they will be trucked or flown to facilities close to the 145 U.S. sites earmarked to receive the first doses. Healthcare workers and elderly residents of long-term care homes are to be the first in line to receive the vaccinations.

UPS and FedEx are making the vaccine distribution a top priority, reserving space on planes and trucks at a time when pandemic- and holiday- related e-commerce are creating more demand for deliveries than carriers can handle.

Both companies have long-term histories of expertise at handling fragile medical products and are leaving little room for error. They are providing temperature and location tracking services to backup devices embedded in the Pfizer boxes, in order to track each shipment throughout its journey.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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