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The First Shipments Of Coronavirus Vaccines To arrive in California Monday

The First Shipments Of Coronavirus Vaccines To arrive in California Monday

BREAKING NEWS CORONAVIRUS: The journey begins for a long awaited vaccine coming from Michigan and shipped to California. The first shipments of coronavirus vaccines are set to arrive Monday.

This week’s deliveries of the new Pfizer CORONAVIRUS vaccine will require complex logistics, with each step of the journey watched by high-tech tools to ensure safety and security. Handling should be so smooth that the vaccine itself would barely notice it is being moved.

Released by Pfizer on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, a thermal shipping box for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer is shown in front of a freezers at the company headquarters in Puurs, Belgium. (Pfizer via AP)

“Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, every shipment is monitored,” said Scott Hurley of Roambee, a Santa Clara-based company whose sensors, cloud data analytics, and automation specialize in high-value shipment tracking, including a Coronavirus vaccine it declines to name.

Never before has a vaccine been so fragile. Just a simple strand of genetic information encased in tiny oily spheres, it must be kept at a range of between minus 76 and minus 112 degrees F. It floats in a small glass vial.

California is earmarked to receive only 327,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine between Dec. 14 and Dec. 20, following Friday’s approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The following week, the state will receive 300,000 more doses of the Pfizer vaccine, as well as an anticipated 672,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, pending its approval.

The precise routes remain a guarded secret for obvious reasons.

On Saturday, vaccines were boxed at Pfizer’s Michigan-based manufacturing plant. On Sunday, the first doses of the vaccine are being trucked to Fed Ex and UPS hubs to 145 sites nationwide, mostly large hospital systems, for Monday delivery.

More vaccines will be distributed to 425 sites on Tuesday and 66 sites on Wednesday, said U.S. Army General Gus Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, at a Saturday press briefing. The site locations were not disclosed.

Workers applauded on Sunday morning as the first truck left the plant carrying a load of the vaccine.

Who gets it?

County health departments, which will dispense it to regional hospitals, Kaiser and other health care networks, and CVS and Walgreens, because they’re responsible for vaccinating elders in nursing homes. Initially seven major hospitals in California — among them, UCSF Medical Center and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital in San Francisco, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego — were slated to receive direct shipments, because they have massive freezers.

This list is expanding; Walnut Creek’s John Muir Hospital was just given the OK for direct delivery.

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