Do Not Throw Away Your Shot: COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Let’s agree to retire the word ‘unprecedented,’ shall we? The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world. Each of us has learned to keep our distance, wear masks to protect ourselves and others, and adapt to e-learning and remote work. Meanwhile, hospital employees and other frontline workers have put in hard time caring for the critically ill and the rest of us. One question which remains is this:  when will it be over?

A year on, the world is still in the throes of the pandemic, but we dare suggest there appears to be a faint and visible light emerging at the end of the proverbial tunnel. We’ve held our collective breath as vaccine manufacturing ramped up behind the collaboration of scientists, governments and corporations worldwide in a manner that could be called miraculous.

On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in people 16 years and older. This vaccine is administered as a two-dose series within three weeks’ time.

On December 18, 2020, the FDA issued a second EUA for use of the Moderna vaccine in people 18 years and older. This vaccine is also administered in two doses, one month apart.1

Other vaccines are accelerating toward approval, begging a second question: when can I get my shot?

Vaccine Eligibility

Hospitals have been overrun with critically ill patients for months. For this reason, and to ensure the most at-risk populations are prioritized, healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities were eligible to receive the vaccine first.

Recently, the federal government recommended states allow people 60 and older to get vaccinated. However, states can create and implement their own plans, thus shifting populations and priorities as they deem appropriate.

As of this writing, at least 43 states and Washington, D.C. have expanded their vaccination program to non-medical workers including police officers and grocery store employees. The expansion of eligibility has caused problems as states are trying to increase their capacity.2

This article in the New York Times shows the priority listing per state.

Allocations

In order to cover as much of the population as possible, vaccine allocations have been issued for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine. This ensures the vaccine can be spread over as much of the country as possible.

Pfizer-BioNTech

According to the CDC, “Weekly first-dose allocations are provided to states on Tuesdays; jurisdictions can begin placing orders on Thursdays. After doses are ordered by states, shipments begin the following Monday. The entire order may not arrive in one shipment or on one day, but rather, over the course of the week. Second doses are opened-up for orders on Sundays, at the appropriate interval (two or three weeks later) according to the manufacturer’s label, with shipments occurring after jurisdictions place orders. Shipments of an FDA-authorized safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine continue to arrive at sites across America. Vaccinations began on December 14, 2020. (Data as of Jan. 12, 2021)”3

Moderna

According to the CDC “Weekly first-dose allocations are provided to states on Tuesdays; jurisdictions can begin placing orders on Thursdays. After doses are ordered by states, shipments begin the following Monday. The entire order may not arrive in one shipment or on one day, but over the course of the week. Second doses are opened up for orders on Sundays, at the appropriate interval two or three weeks later according to the manufacturer’s label, with shipments occurring after jurisdictions place orders. Shipments of an FDA-authorized safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine continue to arrive at sites across America. Vaccinations began on December 14, 2020. (Data as of Jan. 12, 2021)”4

Janssen

According to the CDC “New weekly allocations of doses are posted every Tuesday. Beginning the following Thursday, states can begin ordering doses from that week’s new allocation of 1st doses. Beginning two weeks (Pfizer) or three weeks (Moderna) from the following Sunday, states can begin ordering doses from that week’s new allocation of 2nd doses. After doses are ordered by states, shipments begin the following Monday. The entire order may not arrive in one shipment or on one day, but over the course of the week.

Second doses are opened up for orders on Sundays, at the appropriate interval two or three weeks later according to the manufacturer’s label, with shipments occurring after jurisdictions place orders.

Shipments of an FDA-authorized safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine continue to arrive at sites across America. Vaccinations began on December 14, 2020. (Data as of March 9, 2021)6

Once the shipments are received, it’s up to the states and territory to develop a plan for administering vaccines.

NOTE: More pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities will get emergency authorization use approval as the year goes on. Please check the CDC website for updated information.

Vaccination Goals

As of Wednesday, February 17, 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that approximately 40.3 million people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 15.5 million who have been fully vaccinated.2 On average, healthcare providers are administering, on average, 1.64 million doses per day.

The goal is to reach herd immunity – when transmission of the virus slows significantly because enough people have been protected through infection or vaccination. To do this, 70-90 percent of the population needs to acquire resistance to the coronavirus. If the United States continues distribution at this pace, about half of the total population will at least be partially vaccinated by early July.

Contec’s Role

Contec, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of contamination control products for mission-critical cleaning in manufacturing environments worldwide. Contec Healthcare is dedicated to leading ongoing development and manufacturing of innovative cleaning products for use in critical applications. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Pharmacy Purchasing and Products (April 2020), Contec was recognized as the #1 provider of cleaning solutions to compounding pharmacies.5  Our knowledge of both the markets we serve and the regulations governing our customers’ facilities, helps us ensure our partners receive the products they need for their specific applications.

From Primary Engineering Controls, such as Restricted Access Barrier Systems (RABS), Laminar Air Flow Systems (LAFS) and Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) to the surfaces inside the Secondary Engineering Controls (SECs) like walls and floors, Contec Healthcare has the solution, including a full line of presaturated wipes, EPA-registered one-step cleaning and disinfecting solutions, and cleaning tools to ensure proper cleanroom sanitation.

It is also important that other areas where vaccines are prepared and/or administered are kept clean so that vaccines can be prepared aseptically.  Contec products can also be used to clean these areas, sanitize vial tops, and provide other materials for personnel hygiene and garbing.


  1. https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/distribution/index.html
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-19-vaccine-doses.html
  3. https://data.cdc.gov/Vaccinations/COVID-19-Vaccine-Distribution-Allocations-by-Juris/saz5-9hgg     
  4. https://data.cdc.gov/Vaccinations/COVID-19-Vaccine-Distribution-Allocations-by-Juris/b7pe-5nws
  5. https://www.pppmag.com/digitalmag/Main.php?MagNo=262&PageNo=1#page/22
  6. https://data.cdc.gov/Vaccinations/COVID-19-Vaccine-Distribution-Allocations-by-Juris/w9zu-fywh​

Contec Quality
Given the customer base we supply, quality excellence, and consistency is a requirement to success. Contec ensures this consistent quality through rigorous design and control of our manufacturing processes. We measure product quality in the following terms: functionality, consistency, and traceability.

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