Examining How a COVID-19 Vaccine Would Be Transported

NBC Universal, Inc.

Coronavirus vaccines will soon be on their way, but the hardest part may be what happens next -- how do you get it to the people?

It appears to be a logistics nightmare that Bay Area software companies are already working on.

Transferring the vaccine will not be as simple as packing it up and sending it along. The vaccines have critical transport and storage requirements or they will not work.

Redlands-based software company ESRI is currently working on how to get the vaccine to the right places in the right way.

The mapping and analytics software maker said it is in touch with vaccine makers, hospitals and government agencies to make sure the path from the lab to clinic is as smooth and fast as possible.

"Being able to do what is kind of a matchmaking exercise between the facilities that can store the vaccines, the populations that need them, the capacity, how much vaccine to put where," ESRI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Este Geraghty said.

Companies working to figure out the vaccine transportation logistics also plan to find ways on tracking where exactly each dose goes, who got the vaccine, and who still needs it.

This is all important because the deep freeze containers needed to ship the Pfizer vaccine can only hold their temperatures for 10 days. The containers can only be opened twice a day for three minutes at a time to stay as cold as necessary.

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