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.
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