Tractor trailers loaded with suitcase-sized containers of the Govit-19 vaccine will depart from the Pfizer Inc. manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Sunday morning – Reuters reports that the virus is launching the largest and most complex vaccine distribution program in the United States.
U.S. regulators authorized the use of the vaccine from Pfizer and partner Bioendech late Friday, and U.S. marshals will arrive with tightly guarded ships from the factory to the final destination.
“We have spent several months strategizing with Operation Warp Speed officers and our healthcare clients on efficient vaccine logistics, and the time has come to implement this plan,” Wes Wheeler, head of UPS Healthcare, said Saturday.
Pfizer’s dry-ice-cooled packages can hold 4,875 sizes, and the first leg of their journey will take them from Kalamazoo to nearby flights. Workers will receive the vaccine – which must be kept at sub-Arctic temperatures – and will be shipped to United Parcel Service or FedEx air cargo centers in Louisville, Kentucky, and Memphis, Tennessee, respectively.
From there, they will be trucked or flown to facilities near the 145 U.S. bases allocated to obtain the first level.
Familiar UPS and FedEx package delivery drivers can carry holiday gifts and other parcels, delivering several “suitcases” into the hands of healthcare providers on Monday. The first three ships expected this week.
Health workers and the elderly living in long-term care homes are at the forefront of getting vaccinated.
Pfizer vaccines have very limited requirements for shipping and storage temperature, minus 70 ட C (minus 94 F).
UPS and FedEx prioritize vaccination, while epidemics and holiday-related e-commerce allocate space on planes and trucks at a time when carriers are creating more demand for supplies than they can handle.
Both companies specialize in handling fragile medical products and do not allow for error. They provide temperature and location tracking for backup devices embedded in Pfizer boxes, and monitor each vessel throughout its voyage.