UPS and FedEx have announced that they plan to deliver millions of COVID-19 vaccines before shipping holiday gifts.
The vaccine will be delivered with extra care including GPS tracking, special labels and priority loading on cargo planes and delivery trucks. The boxes containing the vaccine will be kept in special boxes that maintain temperatures at 94 degrees below zero, as reported by WJXT News4JAX.
“We’re giving priority to all the vaccine shipments,” UPS’ President of Global Health Care Unit Wesley Wheeler said, according to Reuters
The two major delivery companies are part of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed and have the capabilities to deliver medical products that are deemed fragile, according to Reuters.
GPS trackers will not only report location, but can also report back temperature, light exposure data and motion, giving teams information needed to ensure that the vaccine is being handled properly, Reuters reported. The vaccine will also receive a VIP treatment when it comes to loading, getting priority over other packages and the company will inform all drivers who are assigned to carry the vaccine in their trucks. (RELATED: New York Could Mandate Coronavirus Vaccine With Proposed Legislation)
On Thursday, president of the global healthcare unit at UPS, Wesley Wheeler, told the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, ‘We’re giving priority to all the vaccine shipments,’
Our team is prepared to transport COVID-19 vaccines to where they are needed most around the world. ???? pic.twitter.com/BNKipdwNPX
— FedEx (@FedEx) December 8, 2020
Experts warn that the number of packages slated for delivery could be 5% more than the capacity carriers currently have, possibly causing a delay in over 700 million gifts and items not arriving on time, according to Reuters.
Executive vice president of global support for Fedex, Richard Smith, noted to senators that, “We deal with the unforeseen every day: weather, traffic…regulatory holds, customs delays. We don’t expect anything that we won’t be able to handle.”