The good news amid the COVID19 pandemic is the Coronavirus vaccinations are going on across the world. It irradiates the prospect that the pandemic will eventually be at least controllable if not end.

The vaccinations have triggered the need for the global distribution of COVID19 vaccines, which has brought some challenges.

The biggest challenge is safely transporting the vaccines across geographies. The vaccines are delicate and temperature-sensitive. A slight flaw in transportation can damage them. Countries are ordering massive numbers of vaccines from pharmaceutical companies to vaccinate their population. And the onus of transporting the vaccines safely falls on the logistics service providers.

Different Transportation Needs

There is no need for you to be a logistics expert to figure out that it is an uphill task to transport the vaccines safely and effectively across different geographies of the world. Regardless of the logistics approach, it is challenging to move the vaccines across geographies, given the safety protocols to follow during transportation.

By now, there have been at least seven different COVID19 vaccines, based on three major platforms, on the offer, with more than 200 additional vaccine candidates in the development phase. The three platforms are–using a whole virus or bacterium, focusing on parts that trigger the immune system, and genetic material.

The point of consideration is that the different platforms call for specific transportation and storage mechanisms.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the vaccine to get approval from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for vaccinating people against the Coronavirus. But, the vaccine came with a challenge. It needs to be stored in an ultra low temperature freezer with a temperature range of −112 to −76 degrees F, presenting a challenge to logistics companies.

Pfizer developed a packaging and storage solution that ensures the stored vaccines remain potent throughout the transit to ease the associated transportation challenges.

Pfizer continued to roll out more innovations to ease challenges to transporters. The company ideated the use of GPS-enabled thermal sensors that help to monitor the consignment temperature remotely. It helps keep track of the temperature, and if it goes out of range, transporters can take corrective action to prevent vaccine damages.

Transportation of the Moderna vaccine also poses challenges. Although the vaccine does not require extreme freezing temperatures as the Pfizer vaccine, it does call for relatively less freezing temperatures for successful transportation and storage. It means, transporting the Moderna vaccine calls for the right temperature management, logistical efficiency, and temperature monitoring during transit.

The other vaccines also have their specific temperature requirements that call for different transportation approaches. As such, there is no single standard transportation protocol for the vaccines.

The Role of Technology

Technology has a significant role to play in COVID19 vaccine transportation. And shippers need to understand the usage of the right logistics software. Besides, Artificial Intelligence(AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are also playing crucial roles in effectively transporting vaccines across geographies.

All entities associated with vaccine transportation, from governments to healthcare providers, should get themselves acquainted with the role of technology in vaccine transportation. And there has to be clear communication among all the parties involved in the transportation process.

The widespread role of technological products in the effective transportation of vaccines is worth noting, given the worldwide adoption.

During transit, each vaccine consignment has a GPS tracker to monitor the temperature. The shipper can ensure that the shipment goes from the origin to the destination at the right temperature. Barcode scanning upon delivery assures that the right vaccines have reached the endpoint and there were no theft incidents on the way.

The usage of IoT, linked to temperature sensors, plays a significant role in safely transporting the vaccines during the entire route, from the origin to the destination. It makes sure that there were no temperature deviations from the prescribed range during the journey.

AI tools analyze data to predict possible delays that help transporters to find alternative routes to avoid delays.

Low-energy Bluetooth chips send out real-time data on the cloud to optimize distribution and enable analysis.

With the adoption of the latest technology, transporters can ensure that their vaccine consignments remain potent during transit and reach their destinations safely. And with a remote temperature monitoring device, transporters can monitor the temperature in real-time.

When the vaccines reach the endpoints safely, it allows healthcare facilities to administer effective vaccines to people.

Addressing Security Concerns

Safety and security are the prime concerns of COVID19 vaccine transportation. It requires no special mention that the vaccine consignments are not replaceable or can go missing in transit.

Transporting the vaccines from the point of production to the endpoint is a challenging task that calls for transportation most securely and safely possible.

The valuable vaccine consignments can be a target for thieves. And if they are successful in stealing the consignments, the vaccine producers will incur severe monetary losses in replacing the stolen stock. With that in mind, transporters should deploy security escorts to accompany the vaccine consignment during transportation.

Threats to COVID19 vaccine consignments in transit can also emanate from terrorist organizations. As such, transporters must stay extra vigilant to tackle such dangers.

Ensuring Correct Temperature

Prudent supply chain management is a must to transport COVID19 vaccines preserving their potency. It calls for maintaining the correct temperature. Any deviation of the temperature from the prescribed range can damage the vaccine consignment and entail significant monetary losses to the parties involved.

But, technology is there to maintain the correct temperature. Transporters should deploy data loggers along with their consignments. Data loggers are digital devices that record the temperature in real-time and transmit the temperature data to the involved parties through apps, emails, or SMSes.

Data loggers monitor the temperature during the entire cycle of the journey to enable transporters to keep track of the temperature status and take corrective action if the temperature goes out of range.


Challenges are inherent in COID19 vaccine transportation, but there are effective ways to tackle them. Monitoring the temperature is one way to deal with the challenges, and technology has provided impactful solutions. We believe that this article will help vaccine transporters to deal with the associated challenges effectively.