Coming down the conveyor belt at the UPS facility in Poughkeepsie are boxes that have the potential to save countless lives: Boxes of vaccine doses and supplies ready to be delivered to local vaccination sites.
It's part of UPS’ worldwide effort to get people vaccinated against COVID-19. In the United States alone, UPS has delivered 90 million vaccines.
"For UPS, there's almost 600,000 of us, and this is personal," said Daniel Gagnon, vice president of UPS Healthcare Marketing and Strategy. "We all have family and friends that are dependent on getting the vaccine."
It’s a complex logistical process to get vaccine doses distributed around the country. Once UPS receives the vaccines from distributors, they're sent through the UPS Louisville Kentucky airport hub, then on to aircraft heading to cities around the country, then to UPS facilities, like the one in Poughkeepsie.
What You Need To Know
- Each box of vaccines has a GPS label that allows UPS to track its location at any given time
- UPS has delivered 90 vaccines nationwide
- Vaccines are packaged in specially designed boxes with coolants, like dry ice or dry blocks, to maintain a proper temperature
These boxes of vaccines and supplies may look like your ordinary online deliveries, but each one is being tracked using labels implanted with GPS cellular technology.
"This tracking technology allows us to see where these vaccines are within about three meters," said Gagnon.
The vaccines arrive in specially designed packaging engineered to maintain proper temperature using cold blocks or dry ice.
Jason Lefevre is one of the UPS drivers who volunteered to deliver vaccines.
"It’s a big responsibility, and for someone like me and a lot of other people who've been affected by this - I lost a couple people personally, and that hurt a lot - and being a father of two and my parents are elderly," said UPS driver Jason Lefevre, "anything I can do to keep everyone safe."
Once the vaccines are loaded on to his truck, it’s time for Jay to head out. It’s a lot of pressure making sure these vaccines get where they need to go on time.
Today, Lefevre is delivering vaccine kits to the Dutchess County Department of Health. Delivering these vaccines is part of his job, but it’s more than just that.
"I just love coming in everyday and knowing that this is how I could give back to my community," said Lefevre. "I was born and raised in Poughkeepsie. I'm a resident here, 36 years. Like I said, I love it, giving back to the community and making sure they're safe and just doing my part."