McKesson report on COVID-19 on vaccine distribution efforts

March 3, 2021

As a centralized distribution partner for the Unites States government’s COVID vaccine distribution effort, McKesson began distributing the COVID-19 vaccine received from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced the company in a press release.

The Janssen vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Feb. 27 and is the first one-shot COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized for use in the U.S.

McKesson was selected by the U.S. government in August 2020 to operate as the centralized distributor for frozen and refrigerated COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supply kits needed to administer them. In December 2020, McKesson began distributing the ancillary supply kits for Pfizer BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. Later that month, the company began distributing Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and ancillary supply kits.

McKesson has established four dedicated distribution centers, which will be specifically used to distribute the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and future refrigerated vaccines. The U.S. government makes all program administration decisions, including where, when and how many vaccine doses McKesson will distribute.

Key facts include:

·        McKesson is managing two different aspects of the distribution efforts in coordination with the U.S. government. The company is producing all supply kits for COVID-19 vaccines, as well as distributing frozen and refrigerated COVID-19 vaccines. McKesson is not distributing the Pfizer ultra-frozen vaccine.

·         From a distribution perspective, McKesson continues to stay on target to meet the U.S. government’s plan to ultimately distribute hundreds of millions of frozen and refrigerated vaccine doses.

·         Regardless if it is a frozen or refrigerated vaccine, maintaining the cold chain is a priority. Upon arrival at a McKesson vaccine distribution center, McKesson will verify that the vaccines were maintained at the proper temperature while in transit and will place the vaccines inside either a large-scale, pharmaceutical-grade refrigerator or freezer designed to maintain proper temperatures.

·         Both the refrigerators and freezers are equipped with sophisticated controls, monitoring systems and alarms intended to ensure the vaccines remain within the appropriate temperature ranges.

·         After receiving orders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccine doses will be packed inside insulated coolers which are designed differently for frozen and refrigerated vaccines. A temperature monitor is placed inside the coolers so the administration site can verify that the vaccine doses stayed within the required temperature range during transit.

·         For the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, the ancillary supply kit normally will be sent before or at the same time as the vaccines. The kits include alcohol prep pads, face shields, surgical masks, needles and syringes, a vaccine administration sheet, and a vaccine record and reminder card.

·         Once McKesson receives new vaccine and ancillary supply kit orders from the U.S. government, most orders are shipped by our partners FedEx or UPS within one to two business days to the specified point-of-care facilities nationwide. McKesson works seven days a week to fulfill all orders.

McKesson’s medical and pharmaceutical supply chain operates separately from the COVID-19 vaccine program.

McKesson has the release.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.