COVID-19 vaccine: UPS, FedEx ready to deliver

Local doctor in clinical trial explains how vaccine works

File photo

Just like your holiday packages, the COVID-19 vaccine will be sent by air and truck after it’s approved by the FDA.

As part of Operation Warp Speed, the military has arranged for two carriers to deliver the doses around the country: FedEx will cover the western part of the United States and UPS will take the eastern half.

Special iceboxes will keep the vaccine at the required 94 degrees below zero.

Command centers for each company can monitor the temperatures of each package in real-time.

The Department of Health and Human Services expects to have doses for 20 million Americans by the end of the year with 50 million by the end of next month.

A local doctor involved in one of the clinical trials being conducted in Jacksonville explained how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work.

The FDA will decide if it will issue an emergency order for the Pfizer vaccine. Dr. Michael Koren of ENCORE Research Group is involved in clinicals trials for both these vaccines here in Jacksonville he joins us via zoom this morning.

Dr. Michael Koren said it’s important to understand that the vaccine does not inject any live virus into the body. Instead, it sends a set of instructions to fight off COVID-19.

“So following both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, our body is instructed to make small quantities of this protein so our body is aware of a potential invader and once our immune system is primed to recognize this particular protein the body will fight that protein when it sees it,” Koren said.

Koren said participants in the clinical trials he is overseeing have experienced a range of reactions to the vaccine, including low-grade fever, headaches and muscle aches. None has had a severe reaction.

About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.