Orange County Partnership - News

Orange County-Based McKesson Delivers in the Fight Against COVID-19

McKesson Corp., which has a major distribution facility in Hamptonburgh in Orange County, has been distributing the Moderna COVID vaccine since late December as part of the U.S. government’s “Operation Warp Speed” and is a major player in the nation’s battle against the coronavirus.


On Dec. 20, McKesson, a global leader in healthcare supply chain management based in Irving, TX, began distributing Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines and the ancillary supply kits needed to administer them under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


The company reported that its distribution program is based on months of preparation, which included establishing dedicated distribution centers and assembling supply kits.


McKesson operates a 340,000 square- foot distribution facility in Hamptonburgh. The facility was opened in 2017 to service parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania.


The company filled the first Moderna order from the CDC on Sunday, Dec. 20. Its shipping partners, including FedEx and UPS, delivered initial vaccine orders at administration sites nationwide on Monday, Dec. 21.


Brian Tyler, CEO of McKesson, said, “We are honored to be a partner with the U.S. government and other private-sector companies such as Moderna to support in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and the ancillary supply kits. In March, our world seemed to change overnight. But with a renewed sense of commitment and intensified focus, we’ve come together across industries and forged public and private partnerships to help restore and protect the health and well-being of people around the world. With our exceptional group of employees managing the effort, we stand ready as a company to meet this historical moment.”


McKesson officials explained upon arrival at a McKesson vaccine distribution center, McKesson verifies that the vaccines are maintained at the proper temperature while in transit and place the vaccines inside a large-scale, pharmaceutical-grade freezer designed to maintain proper temperatures.


The freezers are equipped with sophisticated controls, monitoring systems and alarms intended to ensure the vaccines remain within the appropriate temperature ranges.


After receiving CDC orders, from inside the freezers the vaccine doses are packed into insulated coolers with specialized cold packs and a temperature monitor so the administration site can verify that the vaccine doses stayed within the required temperature range during transit.


For the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the ancillary supply kit normally will be sent at the same time as the vaccines. The kits include alcohol prep pads, face shields, surgical masks, needles and syringes, a vaccine administration sheet, and a vaccine record and reminder card.


Through Operation Warp Speed, McKesson partners closely with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the CDC. For the ancillary supply kit production and distribution, McKesson has partnered with the Strategic National Stockpile, which is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within HHS.


McKesson Corp., which employs 78,000 workers, is a global leader in healthcare supply chain management solutions, retail pharmacy, community oncology and specialty care and healthcare information solutions. McKesson partners with pharmaceutical manufacturers, providers, pharmacies, governments and other organizations in healthcare to help provide the right medicines, medical products and healthcare services to the right patients at the right time, safely and cost-effectively.