FedEx Express Canada, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and Innomar Strategies, announces that the country’s first operations to distribute the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada are underway.
The first shipment arrived at the FedEx Express Canada hub in Toronto in late December. Part of this initial shipment will continue onwards to the territories to facilitate vaccine distribution in Canada’s northern regions. The vaccine roll-out will be facilitated by the FedEx Express Canada network, utilizing the cold-chain storage and packaging capabilities of Innomar Strategies, a part of AmerisourceBergen and patient support provider in the Canadian specialty pharmaceutical market.
The arrival of the vaccine from Brussels, Belgium occurred within 48-hours of Health Canada’s approval, a key logistical requirement from the federal government. Meeting the deadline was made possible by extensive collaboration with the government of Canada to move more vaccines from Europe into Canada. Additionally, the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines requires coordination of numerous teams including customs brokers, airports, ground transportation crews and internal security teams working with provincial and federal law enforcement agencies, all during a time when lockdowns and border closures are commonplace.
The delivery of the first Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is notable as it is the first vaccine to arrive in the Northwest Territories. The Canadian roll-out comes shortly after the FedEx network started delivering both the Pfizer-BioNTech and later the Moderna vaccines across the U.S., beginning mid-December.
FedEx says it is well-positioned to handle COVID-19 vaccine shipments around the world with temperature-control systems, near real-time monitoring capabilities, and a dedicated healthcare team to support the express transportation of vaccines and bioscience shipments.
Innomar will store the vaccines in its GMP-compliant Canadian storage facilities across Canada. The storage facilities—which are equipped to store complex pharmaceutical products, including those with cold chain requirements—are temperature-controlled and have a validated monitoring system to protect the vaccine shipments. Before the vaccines are shipped, teams will put them in packages that support the temperature requirements specified by the manufacturer.
These temperature-sensitive vaccines will move through the FedEx Express Canada network with consistent reporting on the condition of the vaccine, thanks to FedEx SenseAware technology packed along with the shipment, says the company. Through the SenseAware device, agents should be able to monitor critical data including temperature, location, and light exposure to help ensure the integrity and security of the vaccines and allow teams to be fully prepared when the shipment arrives.