The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said Friday that SK Bioscience would distribute the Covid-19 vaccines.
Since the storage and distribution conditions of the Covid-19 vaccines are different by manufacturer, and the vaccination locations for each vaccine are diverse, there was a high need for a thorough distribution and storage system to manage vaccination after the vaccine arrives in Korea tightly.
The KCDA selected and signed a contract with SK Bioscience to carry out the “Covid-19 vaccine distribution management system establishment and operation project”.
Under the accord, SK Biosciences will be responsible for distributing and storing vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen, Pfizer, and Covax Facility. SK Bioscience plans to operate a system that can monitor temperature maintenance and delivery routes in real-time during vaccine transportation by establishing a customized cold chain management system for each vaccine.
The agency has also selected M2Cloud as a distribution partner to build an Internet of Things-based integrated control center to establish a real-time temperature management and vaccine location tracking system.
Besides, SK Bioscience will establish and operate a frozen and refrigerated distribution center in cooperation with domestic distribution companies to prepare for any uncertainties related to the vaccine supply timing.
Gtree B&T and Dongwon I-Pharma will participate as distribution partners, with the latter in charge of securing Korea’s cryogenic distribution warehouse that can store vaccines at -75 Celcius and building a distribution center.
Vaccination centers will also be installing a cryogenic freezer, an essential item for maintaining the Pfizer vaccine cold chain, to safely store the vaccines.
The KDCA will provide state subsidies so that local governments can purchase such cryogenic freezers from companies registered with government-run websites. At the same time, each locality plans to prepare for the inoculation center designation and freezer installation.
“As establishing a thorough distribution management system for vaccines is the most important task for safe inoculation, we will carefully prepare such a process without disruption until the nation starts vaccination,” KDCA Commissioner Jung Eun-kyeong said.