US Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine Draws Closer

December 11, 2020


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted on Dec 10 to recommend the agency grant emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine. Once a vaccine is authorized by the FDA, Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's initiative to develop a vaccine, can start shipping and distributing the vaccine to states. However, vaccinations will not begin until after a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee recommends the vaccine.

Appearing before a subcommittee on Transportation and Safety as part of a hearing on the logistics of transporting a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec 10, Richard Smith, FedEx Express Regional President of the Americas and Wes Wheeler, UPS' president of global health care, assured committee members that the two last-mile transportation providers are able to handle the vaccine distribution in the US.

“Once the vaccines are approved and ready for distribution, vaccine and related healthcare shipments will be the top priority for the FedEx Express network, with support provided by our FedEx Logistics and Custom Critical teams,” Smith said.

Regarding passenger airlines, Wheeler said that passenger carriers might help, if “we get into trouble anywhere. We have relationships with all of them.”

Concerns of distributing the vaccine in the midst of an “unprecedented holiday season” were echoed among committee members. FedEx noted in a recent statement that it is expecting holiday volumes to increase 22% from 2019. Both FedEx and UPS have reserved capacity for the vaccine. Smith told the committee that Ground will handle Peak and Express will handle vaccines.

According to ABC News, upon approval, there will be 40 million doses to inoculate 20 million people in December (two shots per person). At least 6.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are ready to go and 3 million of those will be shipped out 24 hours after emergency authorization. The other 3 million will be shipped three weeks later and the remainder will be held as "safety stock" in the event of shipping issues.

“This is a cross-organizational effort like none that’s been seen from a logistics standpoint,” said John Haber, founder and CEO of Spend Management Experts, an Atlanta-based supply chain consulting firm told Roll Call on Dec. 9.


ABOUT SPEND MANAGEMENT EXPERTS

Spend Management Experts provides strategic guidance to optimize your supply chain. Using cost modeling technology and market intelligence, we help companies with their transportation, distribution and fulfillment spend. Often large shippers can reduce their spend across the supply chain by 20% or more. We specialize in reducing distribution costs, increasing efficiencies, dynamic reporting, greater budgeting and forecasting accuracy and optimizing supply chain execution. We leverage our proprietary models to identify savings and build negotiation strategies based on data and business cases. As industry experts, our fresh approach provides clients with straightforward details on exactly how savings are derived. Spend Management Experts is your competitive edge, delivered.

Connect with Spend Management Experts on TwitterLinkedIn, and the Spend Management Experts blog.

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US Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine Draws Closer

December 11, 2020


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted on Dec 10 to recommend the agency grant emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine. Once a vaccine is authorized by the FDA, Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's initiative to develop a vaccine, can start shipping and distributing the vaccine to states. However, vaccinations will not begin until after a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee recommends the vaccine. Appearing before a subcommittee on Transportation and Safety as part of a hearing on the logistics of transporting a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec 10, Richard Smith, FedEx Express Regional President of the Americas and Wes Wheeler, UPS' president of global health care, assured committee members that the two last-mile transportation providers are able to handle the vaccine distribution in the US. “Once the vaccines are approved and ready for distribution, vaccine and related healthcare shipments will be the top priority for the FedEx Express network, with support provided by our FedEx Logistics and Custom Critical teams,” Smith said. Regarding passenger airlines, Wheeler said that passenger carriers might help, if “we get into trouble anywhere. We have relationships with all of them.” Concerns of distributing the vaccine in the midst of an “unprecedented holiday season” were echoed among committee members. FedEx noted in a recent statement that it is expecting holiday volumes to increase 22% from 2019. Both FedEx and UPS have reserved capacity for the vaccine. Smith told the committee that Ground will handle Peak and Express will handle vaccines. According to ABC News, upon approval, there will be 40 million doses to inoculate 20 million people in December (two shots per person). At least 6.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are ready to go and 3 million of those will be shipped out 24 hours after emergency authorization. The other 3 million will be shipped three weeks later and the remainder will be held as "safety stock" in the event of shipping issues. “This is a cross-organizational effort like none that’s been seen from a logistics standpoint,” said John Haber, founder and CEO of Spend Management Experts, an Atlanta-based supply chain consulting firm told Roll Call on Dec. 9.


ABOUT SPEND MANAGEMENT EXPERTS Spend Management Experts provides strategic guidance to optimize your supply chain. Using cost modeling technology and market intelligence, we help companies with their transportation, distribution and fulfillment spend. Often large shippers can reduce their spend across the supply chain by 20% or more. We specialize in reducing distribution costs, increasing efficiencies, dynamic reporting, greater budgeting and forecasting accuracy and optimizing supply chain execution. We leverage our proprietary models to identify savings and build negotiation strategies based on data and business cases. As industry experts, our fresh approach provides clients with straightforward details on exactly how savings are derived. Spend Management Experts is your competitive edge, delivered. Connect with Spend Management Experts on TwitterLinkedIn, and the Spend Management Experts blog.

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