FedEx, Pfizer safeguard COVID-19 vaccine distribution ahead of severe weather


FedEx and Pfizer have taken precautions to handle possible inclement weather – and other complications – that might impede the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine across the country.

This week saw the first distributions of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer already had to overcome a significant hurdle when the company announced that the vaccine required storage at temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius or below, and breaking the cold chain could render the vaccine useless.

Now, the country is bracing for a nor’easter to hit the East Coast, bringing possible blizzard conditions and ice from the Mid-Atlantic to New England.

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However, as expected, each company involved in the distribution of the vaccine has taken extensive precautions – including high-tech solutions – to ensure the vaccines arrive.

“We have a team of 15 meteorologists monitoring conditions 24/7, and we have contingency plans in place should we see any severe weather,” FedEx communications adviser Shannon Davis told Fox News via email. “We don’t expect any significant impact at this time.”

Pfizer told Fox News that the same technology that it uses to distribute the vaccine will allow the company to keep ahead of any potential complications.

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Pfizer has specially designed temperature-controlled thermal shippers that use dry ice to maintain that temperature. Additionally, the containers will utilize GPS-enabled thermal sensors with control towers to track the location and temperature of each vaccine shipment.

“These GPS-enabled devices will allow Pfizer to proactively prevent unwanted deviations and act before they happen,” Pfizer writes in its distribution fact sheet.

The cold containers can be reused for up to 30 days for storage, as long as dry ice is refilled every five days.

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Fox News reached out to the White House for comment, which is pending.



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