Recently, UPS partnered with bioCSL, based in Australia, Laos Ministry of Health, and others to deliver nearly 100,000 doses of flu vaccine to Laos, where flu season was fast-approaching. The Laos Ministry of Health administered the flu vaccine to people at high risk of flu-related complications including pregnant women and people over fifty. Laos is not only extremely remote, but the flu vaccines must be kept within a strict temperature range throughout transport of 2°- 8° C.
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I drive by at least two Walgreens pharmacies on the way to work every morning. As you might have seen from the store’s windows and signs, it’s more convenient than ever to swing by and get a flu shot. I was thinking about this when I found out our UPS healthcare experts were at the heart of planning a major logistics feat just last month: shipping 375,000 doses of donated flu vaccines by Walgreens to Laos.
As the U.S. flu season waned in late spring, the flu season for Southeast Asiawill be starting up in a few weeks. Laotians don’t have access to a corner Walgreens, so it was really important to get the vaccines to them safely and securely. And, if you had to check a map like I did to find out the distance from the U.S. to Laos…it’s really far from around the corner!
Picture your medicine cabinet at home. Now open it. (If yours is like mine, it could use a lot of organization.) Have you ever stopped to think about how those medicines and therapies arrived on your shelf? Specifically, I mean the path from how medicines go from manufacturer to being delivered safely to your local pharmacy, or even directly to your family. Well, if you could magically dive into your medicine cabinet and go behind the shelves, you might be surprised to find UPS at the heart of some fascinating and vital healthcare logistics.
Last fall, UPS launched a new air freight container called PharmaPort 360 specially designed for transporting very delicate, temperature-sensitive therapies and medicines like vaccines. A few days ago, UPS’s healthcare team satisfied some of my “behind the cabinet” curiosities and gave me a peak at one of their first logistical feats transporting this new container.
In this first full week of fall, UPS rushed in cooler temperatures at the Cold Chain & Temperature Management conference in Philadelphia. (Yes, there’s a forum for everything.) At the conference we unveiled a “cool” new air freight container called PharmaPortTM 360. Picture a pharmaceutical-grade flying refrigerator that safely keeps medicines like vaccines at the right temperature while being shipped. Well, this isn’t your everyday Frigidaire.