Hundreds of thousands of doses of COVID-19 vaccine are being shipped around the country and a Rochester company has a major role in that distribution.
AeroSafe Global, a cold-chain packaging and shipping company that does a lot of work for the pharmaceutical industry, has been producing tens of thousands of specially designed boxes and related packaging to get COVID-19 vaccines to places like hospitals and nursing homes and pharmacies.
The company has been working long days, seven days a week, to meet the needs of the pharmaceutical companies who are making the vaccines. That packaging, especially in the case of the Pfizer vaccine, has to be able to transport the doses at extremely cold temperatures.
Jay McHarg, CEO for AeroSafe Global, said that while his company creates this kind of packaging, what is different in this case is how fast they have to produce it.
“As far as the packaging itself and the technology and the design, this is something we’ve been doing for 15 years so the technology’s nothing new, it’s just how fast can we build a lot of it,” McHarg said.
He added that besides providing the specially designed boxes that will help move the vaccines around the country, AeroSafe Global also makes smaller units that will help staffers from pharmacy chains and others who need to vaccinate people in locations like nursing homes.
"We’ve developed a carry case," McHarg said. "It’s like a bigger briefcase that they can actually use on daytrips to carry the vaccine with them to long term care facilities; and that’s only designed for 24 hours but it can hold well over 500 doses. We call that the last-mile distribution."
McHarg also said that AeroSafe has been adding jobs; they currently have around 200 employees in Rochester and other locations in Kentucky and Nevada.