US drug distributors urge government to boost Covid-19 vaccine supply network

16 March 2021 - 07:45 By Reuters
US President Joe Biden replaces his face mask after delivering remarks on the implementation of the American Rescue Plan in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, US, March 15, 2021.
US President Joe Biden replaces his face mask after delivering remarks on the implementation of the American Rescue Plan in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, US, March 15, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Three major US drug distributors have requested the government to expand the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain network as the country strives to immunise its population against the novel coronavirus as quickly as possible.

AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and Henry Schein Inc in a letter urged officials to develop a plan of action aimed at identifying ways to move the vaccines safely and quickly to administrators and vaccination sites.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, to whom the letter was addressed, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The companies said on Monday the existing health care network, including pharmacies, doctors' offices, hospitals and other health care providers, will need to be activated to achieve herd immunity against the virus.

Reuters first reported in January that Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen Corp were in talks with federal officials about increasing the number of companies shipping coronavirus vaccines as part of the Biden administration's push to speed up inoculations.  

The US government in February authorised Johnson & Johnson's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, making it the third vaccine to become available in the country, after those developed by Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc received authorisation late last year.  


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