Dock-to-Arm: A Tricky Challenge for the Coronavirus Vaccine

Dock-to-Arm: A Tricky Challenge for the Coronavirus Vaccine

 

We have three promising vaccines. Now the challenge is to distribute them to the masses.

Public health officials and health systems around the world are gearing up for the distribution of the vaccines to their populations. There are opportunities for error at every step of the distribution process, from transportation of the Pfizer vaccine at extremely cold temperatures to final distribution in remote or rural areas. This massive undertaking is going to require synchronized efforts among many different parties. Success will depend on seamless coordination and trust.

 


Video Spotlight: The Race to Move a Cold Chain Vaccine to the Masses


This post is based on The Washington Post article, Now Comes the Hardest Part: Getting a Coronavirus Vaccine from Loading Dock to Upper Arm, by L.H. Sun and F. Stead Sellers, November 23, 2020, and the YouTube video, Inside the Cold, Complex World of Getting a Covid-19 Vaccine into Arms, by The Washington Post, November 24, 2020. Image source: LightField Studios / Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the challenges posed by this colossal distribution effort?

Guidance: There are many challenges associated with this effort. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept Continue reading

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Pfizer’s Massive Vaccine Cold Chain

Pfizer’s Massive Vaccine Cold Chain

December 10, 2020

Pfizer is building an ambitious supply chain and distribution system to deliver hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine to vaccination sites in three days.

The vaccine is manufactured in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Puurs, Belgium at a rate of 7.6 million doses daily.  Shipping containers that can keep the loaded doses at a temperature of -100 Fahrenheit for up to 10 days are used to transport doses from the manufacturing sites to nearby airports as cargo on planes from FedEx, UPS, and DHL.

These carriers are also responsible for trucking doses from airports to vaccination sites such as hospitals.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Fierce Pharma article, Planes, trucks and ultracold boxes: Pfizer preps massive COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort, by Eric Sagonowsky, October 21, 2020; the NPR article, Why Does Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Need To Be Kept Colder Than Antarctica?, by Selena Simmons-Duffin, November 17, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Wright Studio/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. Is Pfizer’s vaccine supply chain transparent?  Explain.

Guidance: Pfizer’s vaccine supply chain has Continue reading

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Amazon’s Thousand Suburban Warehouses

Amazon’s Thousand Suburban Warehouses

November 3, 2020

Amazon plans to open 1,000 small delivery hubs across the United States, with plans to increase this number to approximately 1,500.

The move is to further the company’s goal of same day delivery to customers.  Walmart and Target have been using their network of stores to provide same day delivery, with Walmart implementing Walmart+, its own version of Amazon Prime.

Amazon’s small delivery hubs are planned to be about 200,000 square feet, one-quarter the size of the company’s fulfillment centers.  Moreover, these suburban hubs will provide parking lot space for hub workers, Amazon delivery vans, and the gig workers who make Amazon deliveries.

Overall, it is expected that each small delivery hub will generate around 1,000 vehicle trips per day.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Yahoo Finance article, Amazon Plans to Put 1,000 Warehouses in Suburban Neighborhoods, by Spencer Soper, September 16, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: jeremyiswild/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. What advantage does the small delivery hub offer?

Guidance: These small hubs allow inventory to be Continue reading

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