COVID-19 Noticeboard, Freight News, Logistics

Corona vaccine – the problems are only just beginning, says supply chain expert

[ December 2, 2020   //   ]

While the news of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine being approved and plans in place for its roll out are more than welcome, there is still a significant logistics challenge ahead, says Cranfield School of Management Professor of Supply Chain Strategy, Richard Wilding.

He explains: “The vaccination needs to be kept at -70C, which has required the development of ultra-cold boxes as this temperature range falls outside of the normal cold supply chain. These boxes also use dry ice, which will need to be replenished before more vaccinations can be moved through.

“In addition to the vaccine itself, the other elements of vaccination centres need to be coordinated to meet the demands; syringes, needles, PPE, waste removal, for example. These multiple supply chains will need to be well-choreographed to enable people to receive the vaccination.

“The scale of what is being attempted is huge; the vaccination will not instantly be available everywhere to everyone.”

However, the situation might be eased by the approval of other vaccines, which already have support infrastructure in place and so are easier to manage.