Transporting such huge consignments is a significant factor in the fight against the disease.
Supply chain management starts from the manufacturer’s API warehouse to large warehouse distribution centres or freezer farms. The vaccines travel by air, sea, rail or road depending on the destination. They then move to smaller containers in transport vehicles (such as trucks or vans) for regional and local distribution. In some cases, the vaccine may move to even smaller containers in specially designed medical bags and even be carried to remote locations via courier.
Moderna requires COVID-19 vaccine temperatures under -20 ºC in transit and +2 ºC - +8 ºC moments to administration. In contrast Pfizer required temperatures as low as -70 ºC during transit, which is an enormous logistical challenge. Regardless, logistics companies must have refrigeration to regulate the temperature at every stage of the vaccine supply chain. The ultra-low temperature monitoring conditions are expensive and difficult to maintain, especially in locations where the infrastructure to maintain these temperatures is challenging. Refrigeration vehicles with such capabilities are in short supply. In addition to large ultra-cold freezers, the supply chain needs smaller freezers to enable localized transportation to vaccination centres.