- trans-o-flex, the logistics service provider specialised in pharmaceutical logistics, has developed three concepts to ensure the efficient distribution of coronavirus vaccines
- Company sees Federal Ministry of Health forced to act
Weinheim (Germany), 23 November 2020. The whole world has high hopes for vaccines against Covid-19. Whether these hopes can be fulfilled depends not only on the vaccines, but also on how they can be distributed quickly and safely. “The logistics should not be allowed to become a bottleneck factor. Only then can immunisation start reliably and quickly as soon as one or more vaccines have been approved,” says Wolfgang P. Albeck, CEO of trans-o-flex, the leading transport service provider for pharmaceutical goods in Germany. Albeck also considers federal politics to be responsible for this. “The right decisions must now be made quickly,” adds the head of the company, which has transport networks in Germany and in numerous European countries for the safe and rapid distribution of medicines. “We have therefore developed three concepts which politicians at both state and federal level can use to check whether the logistics solutions they are striving for are really expedient and how they can contribute to ensuring efficient vaccine logistics.” The three concepts are as follows:
- The logistical equipment of the mobile vaccination teams must also ensure security and monitoring of the cold chain. A cold chain such as this must be actively temperature-controlled, documented and managed. This makes it much more transparent and less susceptible to disruptions than a chain in which passive packaging such as cool boxes or refrigerated containers¹ are required due to the necessary very low temperatures. For an actively temperature-controlled cold chain such as this between 2 and 8 degrees, there are well-proven logistics networks that can supply not only individual vaccination centres but also doctors’ surgeries or mobile teams with the vaccine quickly, directly and safely. Last but not least, such logistics chains are more environmentally friendly, as they work without the complex passive packaging, which also increases the freight weight and always has to be transported back.
- Given the high sensitivity of the vaccine consignments, care must be taken when selecting service providers to ensure that pharmaceutical and safety standards in particular are observed. On the one hand, the EU guidelines for good distribution practice of pharmaceuticals (EU-GDP) must be observed. They ensure that the efficacy of medicines is not impaired by storage and/or transport. On the other hand, it is important to take adequate precautions against theft and to ensure that each individual package is handled with care. Bulk service providers who route consignments via conventional sorting systems and handle them improperly at loading points expose sensitive consignments containing doses of vaccines to a high risk of damage. They therefore appear unsuitable for transporting such consignments.
- Contracts must be awarded through a transparent and fair tendering procedure open to all logistics specialists. This is the only way to provide innovative and efficient solutions to ensure a smooth distribution of the new Covid-19 vaccines.
¹ see recommendations for the organisation and implementation of vaccinations against Sars-CoV-2 in vaccination centres and with mobile teams of the German Federal Ministry of Health in version 1.4 (11.11.2020), p. 23: “Availability of refrigerated containers for a constant temperature between 2 °C and 8 °C”