The world is waiting anxiously as the first coronavirus vaccines are being approved and tested for approval. But companies responsible for the logistics of getting those vaccines to people, once they are admitted for use, are already springing into action.
For instance glassmaker Schott, located in southwest Germany not far from BioNTech, one of the German companies that is working on a promising vaccine candidate. Schott specializes in the glass ampoules used in medicine. It’s ramping up production to meet exploding demand. BioNTech and its partner Pfizer alone plan to produce 1.3 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.
“We’ve calculated that we can provide around two billion ampoules by the end of next year,” Schott spokesperson Björn Weller told Bild newspaper.
Germany is planning some 60 inoculation centers around the country. Vaccines will need to be transported over significant distances and kept cool along the way. The firm Va-Q-tec from the southern German city of Würzburg specializes in thermos-containers and -boxes that can keep temperatures as low as -70 degrees Celsius.
The company says that it plans to have employees working through the holidays.
“Of course, Christmas exists for us too,” Va-Q-tec founder and CEO Joachim Kuhn told business magazine Capital. “But we’re going to have to work through it – we can’t afford to take a break.”
Schott and Va-Q-tec are just two of many companies whose services will be in high demand as mass of people are inoculated against Covid-19.
„The main challenge in Covid-19 immunization is the development of an effective vaccine, but it has become clear that there are further potential bottlenecks down the road, such as logistics, refrigeration, glassware, medical staff and consumables,” says Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) health industry expert Gregor Kemper. “Germany with its huge and diverse industrial base, its close-knit transport network and its large healthcare sector is well prepared to take on these challenges. The tasks at hand also open up ample opportunities for international companies to get involved.“