If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that things change quickly! It’s been a long year dealing with the ups and downs of COVID-19, but with news in recent weeks promising efficacy rates in vaccine trials and inoculation readiness, the supply chain logistics around vaccine distribution has taken a sudden shift.
FreightWaves reports that distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. could begin as early as December 11. The announcement was made after Pfizer submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency authorization to approve its candidate vaccine, with an application from Moderna for its vaccine candidate also expected soon.
The initial vaccine distribution will be both limited and targeted. For example, once the FDA grants emergency approval, Pfizer has prepared to quickly distribute the coronavirus vaccine with a focus on hospitals, outpatient clinics, community vaccination locations, and pharmacies as some of the first locations to receive the inoculations.
As has been widely reported, Pfizer’s vaccine entails strict cold chain requirements that add a level of complexity to its distribution plans. The pharmaceutical company has specially designed temperature-controlled thermal shippers utilizing dry ice to maintain recommended temperature conditions of -70°C for up to 10 days with the intent to utilize Pfizer-strategic transportation partners to ship by air to major hubs within a country/region and by ground transport to dosing locations.
With such stringent requirements, supply chain leaders involved in critical vaccine distribution need to adopt an agile approach to shipping that allows them to anticipate, adapt, and prioritize within shorter time frames in response to carrier capacity issues and other potential disruptions to the supply environment. The ability to optimize distribution strategies in real time and make smart decisions by quickly comparing distribution scenarios to adapt to ongoing shifts in demand, while mitigating delivery risks will allow logistics experts, pharmaceutical distribution specialists, and global carriers to prepare for any potential hiccups in the process.
To help attune their approach to shipping in today’s fast-changing environment to prepare for quick vaccine distribution, participating organizations should adopt a digitized supply chain established via cloud solutions. Integrating a cloud-based transportation management system (TMS) for parcel shipping with their supply chain technology stack can help organizations predict and anticipate risk while improving transparency and coordination across the entire supply chain. This kind of system can provide the data and analytics necessary to detect sub-par logistics performance and uncover opportunities to optimize execution for better outcomes.
Digitized supply chains provide faster, more accurate, and more flexible solutions than other supply chains. For instance, leveraging a cloud-based TMS for parcel shipping enables shippers to efficiently expand their transportation network and utilize multiple carriers, including regional carriers and last-mile couriers – essential partners to create supply chain flexibility and diversity to help attain the distinctive scale of this crucial endeavor of vaccine distribution.
Contact us to learn more about how Logistyx enables shippers to quickly adjust and respond to even the most complex supply chain scenarios.