Swiss logistics firm to distribute Moderna Covid vaccine globally

The Moderna vaccine must be kept at the required temperature of -20°C. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

Swiss company Kühne+Nagel has concluded a distribution and storage agreement for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the American biotech firm. 

This content was published on January 7, 2021 - 09:51

On Thursday, Kühne+Nagel announced that it will ensure the worldwide distribution of the Moderna vaccine doses from production sites based in Europe. This includes distribution to markets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, as well as parts of the Americas. 

“Kuehne+Nagel will use its network of more than 230 operations worldwide to distribute the vaccine via road and air. In Europe alone, the company operates its own fleet of over 200 dedicated pharmaceutical transport vehicles. At all stages of transport and storage, product integrity at the required temperature of -20°C will be maintained,” said the firm on Thursday. 

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

Swiss involvement 

Moderna has made good use of Swiss know-how to help manufacture and roll out its vaccine. Quickstat, Kühne+Nagel's clinical trial logistics subsidiary, has already been part of the supply chain for the Moderna vaccine, having supported the supply logistics for Phase II and Phase III clinical trials in the US. 

Swiss pharma company Lonza will produce the Moderna vaccine in Switzerland for non-US markets. It is building three vaccine production lines in the western Swiss town of Visp at a cost of $210 million (CHF191 million) to supply 300 million doses annually for the rest of the world. In parallel, new production lines at Lonza’s site in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will start making vaccine ingredients exclusively for the US. 

On Wednesday, the European Union granted a conditional approval for the Moderna vaccine. However, Switzerland’s medical regulator has not yet given it the green light even though the Alpine nation was one of the early buyers. Switzerland will get 4.5 million doses of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate 2.25 million people if, as expected, two doses are needed per patient. 

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