Dec 31, 2020 10:40:28 AM / Brooke Loeffler /

Vaccine Distribution: Keeping Winter Roads Clear

Right now, through Operation Warp Speed, tens of millions of vaccine doses are travelling by air and road to every zip code in the country...and more are on the way. As we all embark on the most intensive and complicated vaccination effort in history, during the toughest driving months of the year, it has never been more crucial to keep arterial transportation lines open.

Vaccine Distribution: Keeping Winter Roads Clear

The Ultra Cold Chain

The cold chain is a connected network of temperature controlled distribution that gets sensitive materials from their point of origin to their point of use. Warehouses, vehicles, temperature sensors, and specially trained personnel work hard to package, process, and deliver these materials within a set window. 

The first vaccines approved for public use, require ultra cold temperatures (some as low as -94°F) and strict distribution timelines to maintain viability.

Vaccine Transportation across the United States

Rapid Distribution

According to Pfizer, their goal is to get vaccine shipments from their distribution points in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin to any point of use in the United States within 1-2 days. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being shipped by air and then transferred to ground units (like UPS and FedEx) to be driven to every zip code.

Unfortunately, the United States is already drastically falling short of its goal of 20 million vaccinations before New Years. The next few months are going to be critical and will unluckily line up with the hardest time of year for transportation.

The Cost of Closed Roads

It’s no secret that snow closed roads are extremely detrimental for both public safety and the economy.

There are many reasons why closed roads are costly for us all:

  • Cost of life (casualties and blockages for emergency services)
  • Cost of accidents (for infrastructure, local insurance, healthcare institutions, passengers/drivers/pedestrians, emergency services)
  • Cost of lost commercial transport
  • Cost of lost work/productivity
  • Cost of lost retail sales

However this winter, we can add another incredibly important cost to this list: the cost of vaccine interruption. Keeping our roads open has never been more critical for us all.  Ice prevention and timely snow removal has significant short-term and long-payoffs and the costs of snow-related road closures far exceeds the costs of proper winter road maintenance. 

Freshly plowed winter road

Open Roads Save Lives and Livelihoods 

The National Coalition for Open Roads (NCFOR) knows that open roads improve welfare, contribute to economic growth, and keep the life blood of our communities flowing. NCFOR works with the general public and officials at the local, state, and federal level to educate and encourage best practice solutions to keep roads open during the winter.

Ice Slicer is proud of our partnership with NCFOR to more quickly restore winter roads to safe and driveable conditions. We have teamed up with states and cities in and out of the snowbelt to reduce accident rates and keep roads open. And of course, a special thank you to all the heroes working so hard to prepare, transport, and administer these vaccines!

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