Pfizer gearing up to deliver vaccines from Portage

A government panel is expected to approve emergency use of the COVID vaccine by the end of this week.

Distribution of a vaccine for COVID-19 is going to be a complicated affair. Pfizer, one of the companies behind the first such vaccine, is already preparing for delivery ahead of the expected approval of emergency use authorization later this week.

The vaccine must be kept at ultra-low temperatures throughout its transportation, which presents a logistical challenge for the company.

Vials of the vaccine, which are being packaged at the company’s plant in Portage, will be packed with dry ice before being distributed around the country by FedEx and UPS. Pfizer said a box of 1,000 vials of vaccine would require 50 pounds of dry ice for the journey.

That’s not all. Every vaccine requires a raft of additional equipment needed to administer it.

“We anticipate every pallet of vaccines will require an addition 25 to 30 pallets of accessories to go with that,” said Larry St. Onge, the president of life sciences and healthcare for DHL, which will help distribute the vaccine globally. “It encompasses syringes and swabs and all of the other accoutrements that go into a vaccine program.”

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Some of the vaccine will go to nearby freezers already in place at the Kalamazoo County Department of Health and Community Services and WMU’s medical school.

You can read more on WOOD TV 8.

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