Events spanning COVID-19 vaccine distribution to shipping containers held up at port have made the supply chain a “kitchen-table” issue during the past year. Many industries experienced notable disruptions in their delivery of goods and supplies; however, as noted by President and CEO Chip Davis, “[P]harmacies, health systems and physicians’ offices, more than 180,000 across the country, remain stocked with the lifesaving medications and vaccines patients need. That didn’t happen by accident.” Davis’ perspective was featured alongside healthcare supply chain association leaders as part of Chain Drug Review’s annual “Pharmacy Outlook” feature.
With the Delta variant surging across the United States, the fight against COVID-19 — and in turn, the most extensive vaccination campaign in our country’s history — is far from over. As the effects of the virus continue to reverberate, the Biden administration recently authorized booster shots, and the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to increase vaccination rates across the U.S.
For the past year, I have watched the men and women of the healthcare distribution industry go above and beyond on a daily basis to make sure medicines, vaccines, PPE and other medical supplies reached patients and providers across the country. Their energy, determination and commitment have ensured a resilient supply chain during the most challenging days of the COVID-19 pandemic and a distribution network that has continued to deliver value each and every day.
We have reached another pivotal moment in the fight against COVID-19: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate for emergency use. With demand for vaccines currently outpacing supply, the addition of a third candidate is welcome news for Americans. Most importantly, a one-dose option that only requires refrigeration will provide greater flexibility in delivering vaccines to more individuals, including those in underserved and rural areas, with the ability to scale up production exponentially as we move into the spring and summer months.