UK HealthCare

UK HealthCare Participates in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Readiness Test

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UK HealthCare Pharmacy received a mock shipment of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 3 to test operational and logistics readiness for distribution. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo
UK HealthCare Pharmacy received a mock shipment of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 3 to test operational and logistics readiness for distribution. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo
UK HealthCare Pharmacy technicians Cody Purnell and Brad Watkins with Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine mock shipment. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo
UK HealthCare Associate Director of Pharmacy Supply Chain Robert Rose receives mock trial shipment of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 4, 2020) — UK HealthCare was chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health to participate in a national distribution readiness test for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer conducted the end-to-end logistics test the week of Nov. 30 with jurisdictions throughout the U.S. including federal partners and select pharmacy partners. 

As part of the test run, UK HealthCare Pharmacy received a mock shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday to test operational and logistics readiness for vaccine distribution. The exercise also tested the capabilities of the new “Tiberius” tracking system, a software program created specifically for Operation Warp Speed that links databases to track COVID-19 vaccine doses from manufacture to patient inoculation.

“Our ongoing coordination with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the CDC is critical as Kentucky prepares to start administering the first COVID-19 immunization shots,” said UK HealthCare Chief Pharmacist Philip Almeter. “This exercise will help to ensure an efficient vaccine distribution as soon as possible after a vaccine receives regulatory approval.”

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health, said, “We are pleased to collaborate with UK HealthCare in planning for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This partnership shows the commonwealth’s commitment to public health and public safety.”

As part of the test, the Kentucky Department for Public Health identified UK HealthCare as a provider location and entered an order for the mock vaccines through the CDC’s Vaccine Tracking System. UK HealthCare pharmacy received mock ancillary kits and a thermal shipping container without the vaccine.

Pending regulatory approval, shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could be received by UK HealthCare as soon as mid-December. The vaccine, which requires two doses administered between three and four weeks apart, has been submitted for Emergency Use Authorization and is expected to be reviewed by an FDA Advisory Committee on Dec. 10.

Pfizer has been working with U.S. officials in Operation Warp Speed and the CDC to help ensure that after potential authorization or approval, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can reach those in most need as quickly and equitably as possible.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.