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Vaccine transportation operation ‘with pinpoint accuracy’

Remaining stable at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius and kept in special containers, the vaccines arrived at health centers, under the escort of the military police;
Special forces agents were dispatched to ensure airtight protection of the transport trucks;
Military holds two review meetings per day

Vaccine transportation operation ‘with pinpoint ac

The AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccines, which shipped from a SK Bioscience Co. factory in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, on February 24, are being distributed to health centers and nursing hospitals across the nation, where inoculations will be administered, via a logistics center in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do, on February 25. The COVID-19 vaccine transportation task force (transportation task force) is fully responsible for safely transporting the vaccines to the locations where inoculations are being administered. The transportation task force carried out its support mission by transporting the vaccines with pinpoint accuracy based on the pan-government mock drills conducted on February 3 and February 19, in order to ensure that vaccinations can proceed as planned. In this way, the pan-government efforts to protect the people from the COVID-19 threat are ongoing.

Vaccines in containers are transported to health centers

On the morning of February 25, a white truck carrying vaccines, with the words of ‘medicine transport truck (COVID-19 Vaccine’) highlighted in red, arrived at the Gwonseon-gu health center in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, under escort of the military·police. When the truck that had departed from a logistics center in Icheon one hour before came into sight, the health center workers on standby started towards it hurriedly.

Employees of the logistics company opened the truck door after removing the red ‘special seal made by the military’ attached to the rear door of the truck, while the special agents in the military police car, who belong to the Army Special Warfare Command, prepared for any emergency situations, keeping a strict watch on the truck. The AZ vaccine containers showed themselves. The logistics company employees moved towards the health center building, carrying one box of 500 doses of the vaccine alloted for the Gwonseon-gu health center.

Upon their departure from the logistics center in Icheon, the vaccines were shipped in ‘72-hour temperature-controlled containers’ filled with insulation materials, dry ice and inner-cases. As the AZ vaccines must be kept at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius during transportation and storage, the containers were made to ensure the appropriate temperature range would be maintained for 72 hours. Temperature maintenance and detailed information on the vaccines could be checked in real time using the thermometer and QR codes placed on the containers.

After the vaccines were double-checked by the health center workers to ensure there were no abnormalities, they were moved to a dedicated refrigerator, which maintains a temperature of 3 to 4 degrees Celsius. An ‘auto call’ system is mounted in the refrigerator. In the event of a deviation from the set temperature, an alarm call is automatically made to the person in charge. This enables effective vaccine management. After finishing their vaccine delivery, the logistics employees and special agents went straight to the next destination.

“We will strive to help the people return to their daily lives”

The nationwide vaccination program will kick off on February 26, starting with inoculations of nursing hospital workers and residents under the age of 65 across the nation. To ensure a smooth inoculation program, health centers across the nation have been responding to the program by organizing task force teams and making plans to inoculate people at home for those with limited mobility. “I am confident these vaccinations will go smoothly because our staff are well-trained for the annual vaccination campaigns. We will strive to enable the people to return to their daily lives as soon as possible,” Gwonseon-gu health center’s director Woo Tae-ok said.

The military also has a plan to continue its efforts to respond to the COVID-19 situation, as well as vaccine transportation. “The ministry has been supporting (COVID-19) tracking work, quarantine work, vaccine transportation work, etc. by deploying 1894 persons as medical and administrative support personnel,” ministry spokesperson Boo Seung-chan said on Friday. The ministry has been holding twice-daily meetings to check its support readiness for vaccine transportation.

By Han-young, Choi < >

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