How does vaccine distribution work?

(too late to edit)
Knew I’d seen this - UPS to make dry ice and distribute ultra-cold freezers for coronavirus vaccine distribution.

Global shipping giant UPS on Tuesday said it would start making dry ice in the United States and also distribute ultra-cold temperature freezers as it prepares to handle the logistics of shipping Covid-19 vaccines.

Lots of people are doing everything they can to get vaccines out smoothly. There will be problems, I’m sure, but I suspect they’ll be overcome pretty quickly.

Does it say how many ultra cold freezers they have to distribute?

Nope, just this, at the end of the article:

UPS also announced a partnership with freezer manufacturer Stirling Ultracold to distribute freezers capable of reaching temperatures as low as -80 degrees Celsius to doctors’ offices, pharmacies and urgent care facilities where the vaccines may be stored for long periods of time.

Here’s the UPS press release at the UPS site - pretty much says the same thing as the RawStory article.

Enough? I don’t know. Hope so. Still, that’s only essential for the one vaccine out of the three (I think) that are just about ready.

Well, this may sound cold (heh) but I’m kind of worried about getting screwed paying for a bazillion ultra cold freezers no one is going to need in 4 months when there’s alternatives.

Heh. These are corporations trying to make money; I’d bet they have a team or six of actuaries and such working out an optimum number.
Besides, it’s not like these are single-use items; they can be used to transport other medical supplies (I don’t imagine these coolers can only cool to such low temperatures), or can be used to move some of the other COVID vaccines to more inaccessible areas, where they can sit for a bit longer before being used. And lots of things I haven’t even thought of, I’ve no doubt.

Come on. There’s a reason every small town doesn’t already have a -80° freezer. Nobody needs them. If I was in charge, Pfizer only gets distributed to major population hubs that already have infrastructure. Oxford and Maderna for the wider country. But unfortunately, I fear the decision might be based on who has the best lobbyists.

Thus the first sentence in my post above. :wink:

We’re not really in disagreement, here - your point about where you’d distribute the various vaccines was pretty much what I meant.
After that, it’s quibbling over how many are too many freezers. I don’t know how many they’re planning - I doubt they’re intending to flood the market, though. Uneconomical.

No, don’t think we’re really in disagreement except for the fact that I think this will be a pile of White Elephants next year.

My 80+ year old parents are not capable of standing in line for several hours in cold weather. Retired people might have the time, but many won’t have the ability.

I’d imagine a lot of them will get sold to the private sector to recoup their money. I’m sure there’s plenty of labs and other private businesses that would be thrilled to get a half price ultra-cold freezer.
Also, it should be noted that the Pfizer vaccine can be stored in regular fridge for 5 days or on dry ice for 15.
I’m guessing local distributors will worry about the ultra cold freezers and make deliveries to the places that are doing the vaccines. As long as each place only stocks, at the very most, 5 days worth of vials, a regular fridge (that they likely already have) will be fine.

IOW, I don’t think every single dr’s office, pharmacy and hospital in the country is going to need to a brand new ultra-cold freezer. Some will, but most places will hopefully be within a convenient delivery range of a place that can centrally warehouse the vaccines.

Well, we’ll probably never know. That cost for buying then selling them off half price next year probably won’t get reported much.

The AstaZeneca (Oxford) vaccine does not require any special storage – just a refrigerator – and can be produced much more quickly, using established methods for not much money ($6 - 8 for both doses).

I also heard an interview with Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital tonight, and he explained that the vaccine they are testing uses the same technology as a hepatitis B vaccine that is already produced locally around the world for around $1 per dose. He hopes that the existing facilities can be used to produce the Covid-19 vaccine for a similar price. So, there might not be the enormous vaccine production, shipping, and storage issues if that can be done.

Yes, I heard about the lower price on the Oxford vaccine. That’s super awesome.

I applaud Pfizer on their hard work and accomplishment but the publicly released data puts them in last place, overall public health-wise. It’s ok. They’ll make their money back on my Viagra purchases.

Oh, I think plenty of people will wind up with the Pfizer vaccine. If it’s all that’s available, people – and governments, and healthcare providers – will take it. And governments have probably pre-ordered lots of doses.

Right, I have no doubt it will get used. But it probably is not going to be the only one available.

You’re right about preorders. Wonder how locked in the price is.

I think it will probably be a long time, or at least it will be rare for people to have a choice of vaccine. I think initially, distribution will be of whatever is available, to designated groups, in designated places. So not the only one available, but might be the only one available to a particular person for a while.

I posted this link to a BBC article in the “How does the pandemic end?” thread:

Not sure I agree with prioritizing the elderly and infirm.

I’d suggest after giving it to health care providers, to give it to working age people - maybe prioritizing in-person teachers, police, and some other professions.

If I ran the zoo, old retired folk would be at the very back of the line.

Like grocery store clerks.

Honestly, old people should be before me in line. I can work from home and get a lot of my necessities delivered. But I agree that “Essential workers” ought to be before old people. Partly because they are the ones who will be spreading virus otherwise, and partly because vaccines tend to work better on people with healthy immune systems.

No way. There’s millions of so called “essential workers” according to varying local decisions. Everyone thinks of healthcare and grocery clerks but dozens and dozens of other jobs were deemed “essential”. Unless grocery stores have been considered a serious outbreak point, it’s gotta go by age. Over 60 y olds die from this.