The ultra-low temperature demand for the Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) vaccines is paving a new path for vaccine delivery and storage.
While mRNA vaccines require a smaller footprint for production than traditional vaccines, once they leave the production plant, there is a new set of barriers to motivate logistics companies to adapt.
Plans have been retrofitted, GPS tracking has been authorized by the FAA, and states are purchasing large quantities of freezers to meet the needs of the first generation of the vaccine. The first several batches are unlikely to sit on the shelves for long, experts say.
Food companies are no strangers to vaccine temperatures – seafood and ice cream are among the foods that require the coldest storage. But the amount and speed required to get a plant vaccine from a person’s arm is unprecedented.
So why not include more food transport companies? They need to be vetted because of cyber security concerns and the need for the federal government, which is overseeing logistics.
“We already have efforts on infiltration into our logistics system, in our agencies, in our partners,” said Brandon Daniels, president of global markets at Exigor.
Daniels is an advisor to the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, both of whom are involved in vaccine logistics.
The majority of the delivery process has been explored, but the administration of the vaccine rests on the states.
“We know how … [the plants] To an airport. I think we know how to get from the airport to the cold-storage fridge, and then I think we know how to apply to designated hospitals in those major states. That’s where we are now. The next phase of distribution is still in the works, ”said Daniels.
There are courier services which are engaged. Swift courier services as an example … They are traditionally known for fast delivery of parcels. So there are courier services that are engaged in the delivery process, ”he said.
Next generation transportation
Daniels believes that in addition to improving cold-chain logistics for the duration of the epidemic, new technologies are likely to catch on.
“Cryogenics companies will be an important part of the supply chain,” he said. “Things like liquid that can be dry-frozen and unlocked and more advanced technologies are necessary for future distribution.”
For the next level of distribution, there is a lot of potential to work through.
“We have to manage the risk. There is a lot of technology that looks like outside of the movies, ”Daniels said.
He said that ultra-cold storage units have made investments that are challenging to build and ship and also have some drawbacks.
But for frozen liquid methods, it is possible to have small cold storage units. He said that as per the global demand, it is particularly important to focus on rural and poor infrastructure sectors.
Daniels stated, “More advanced technologies are necessary for future delivery, especially with the influencer numbers that Pfizer and Moderna have published.”
“The idea is to allow these technologies to allow small, regional, non-funded areas to access these vaccines,” he said.
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