On Monday morning, a standard UPS truck rolled up to the door of The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
On board was some very precious and long-awaited cargo. Outside was the Governor and First Lady of Ohio (see the Governor’s video tweet below).
Arriving was the first of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in Ohio. Some 975 doses were in this initial shipment, with a corresponding arrival at the University of Cincinnati Health Center.
After warming to room temperature to allow for vaccinations to take place, the first of those took place shortly after noon.
The process of distribution to Ohio hospitals and health clinics now begins. On Tuesday, hospitals in Cleveland, Toledo, Springfield, Columbus, Akron, Athens, and Zanesville will receive similar shipments. There is no word at this point when Richland County will be included in the mix.
As we shared last week, the Ohio National Guard has been mobilized to help repackage and distribute the vaccine, which requires ultracold storage and then dry ice for movement.
Cardinal Health shared a press release related to its role in the process:
Cardinal Health is pleased to have been selected by the Ohio Department of Health to support its efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines by arranging transportation within the state of Ohio. Once a vaccine is available and Ohio receives doses for in-state distribution, Cardinal Health’s OptiFreight® Logistics business will provide same-day delivery services to approximately 350 locations across 88 counties.
The state of Ohio currently expects initial vaccine doses to require special handling and temperature control, and OptiFreight® Logistics will leverage its expertise managing the transportation of sensitive products to ensure safe, successful delivery.
“We are proud to provide our services to support our home state,” said Steve Mason, CEO Medical segment, Cardinal Health. “A fully coordinated supply chain is critical to getting Americans safely vaccinated, and Cardinal Health is uniquely positioned to support Ohio’s vaccination efforts so we can collectively begin to put COVID-19 behind us.”
According to DeWine, a vaccine dashboard will join the other charts on coronavirus.ohio.gov in the coming days.
This is an historic occasion.
This is hope.
This is the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) December 14, 2020