COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chain & Distribution
With coronavirus vaccine approval being on the very near horizon, the question on many people’s mind is how exactly the vaccines will get effectively and efficiently distributed to the entire population. What many may not realize is that this is really a supply chain and logistics question, and getting the vaccine to all 300 million+ US citizens is going to take significant planning and powerful supply chain management.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are utilizing their existing partnership with McKesson Corporation, an American company that distributes pharmaceuticals, to execute Operation Warp Speed - the US government’s effort to accelerate the manufacturing and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. McKesson will be a centralized distributor of future COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supplies needed to administer vaccines. The CDC and McKesson have previously partnered to handle things like the Vaccines for Children Program and the H1N1 pandemic response.
According to Supply Chain Dive, McKesson will also be working with FedEx as logistics partners in the distribution process. Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary, said: “In the case of the Pfizer vaccine, Pfizer will ship directly through FedEx, and we will use McKesson to marry their product up with the vaccination administration kit.”
In a press conference on Thursday, federal officials said that they have a supply chain operation in place that will begin shipping vaccines within 24 hours of authorization, and FedEx’s Express network will play a key role in this process. Their Regional President Richard Smith said, “We have more than 90 cold chain facilities on five continents that will be ready if necessary, where we can stage temperature-sensitive products, and have plans to expand that number to 115 locations next year.”
You can learn all about the latest supply chain industry news and logistics practices at the Retail Supply Chain & Logistics Expo on September 1st & 2nd at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Get your free tickets today!