FedEx Express Canada, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and Innomar Strategies, have announced 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 arrives at the FedEx Express Canada hub in Toronto this afternoon. 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 vast FedEx Express Canada network, utilizing the specialized, cold-chain storage and packaging capabilities of Innomar Strategies, a part of AmerisourceBergen and a leading 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 will be 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 is well-positioned to handle COVID-19 vaccine shipments around the world with temperature-control solutions, near real-time monitoring capabilities, and a dedicated healthcare team to support the express transportation of vaccines and bioscience shipments.
Innomar will safely and securely 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 quickly 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. Through the SenseAware device, dedicated agents are 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.
“The mandate given to us by the government of Canada to support the distribution of vaccines across Canada is without a doubt, one of the most important efforts in our company’s history. We are proud and humbled to be able to lend our network and expertise to help bring an end to the pandemic which has affected both the lives and livelihoods of our fellow Canadians,” said Lisa Lisson, president, FedEx Express Canada. “Delivering critical COVID-19 vaccines is more than an important assignment for the thousands of FedEx team members making this a reality – it’s who we are and what we do.”
As health care providers nationwide prepare to administer the initial wave of COVID-19 vaccines, we are focused on providing the logistics support needed to help ensure residents in all corners of Canada have safe and timely access to a vaccine—both now and in the months to come,” said Guy Payette, president of Innomar Strategies. “This initial shipment marks a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team at Innomar is prepared and ready to support the successful rollout of this first shipment—and all subsequent COVID-19 vaccine shipments that we receive over the next several months.”