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Vaccine Trackers

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ARIANA DREHSLER—AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The truck drove along California’s highways. Analysts analyst PW analyst URBANCOW—GETTY IMAGES a person who reviews and makes sense of information (noun) The business analyst recommended that the restaurant raise the price of some menu items. in Washington, D.C., were watching closely. They knew the status of its cargo cargo pw cargo DARREN ROBB—GETTY IMAGES goods or merchandise that is carried by truck, plane, or ship (noun) The ship carries cargo across the ocean. : a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine was held in trays. It was packed with dry ice, sensors, and tracking devices.

Distribution of U.S. COVID-19 vaccines began in December. Here, workers in Mississippi prepare a vaccine for shipment.

PAUL SANCYA—GETTY IMAGES/POOL

Pfizer was the first company to ship COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. That was in December 2020. Its doses must be kept frozen at below-normal temperatures.

The analysts saw a problem. Two trays were too cold. The driver was told not to deliver them. “They never left the truck,” Gustave Perna said. He runs logistics logistics pw logistics LUCY LAMBRIEX—GETTY IMAGES the details of a project, such as how things get from one place to another (noun) I handled the logistics of my friend's surprise party. for the U.S. vaccine program.

United Parcel Service employees in Kentucky get a vaccine shipment. Boxes are loaded onto trucks and sent for delivery.

MICHAEL CLEVENGER—GETTY IMAGES/POOL

Shipping the COVID-19 vaccine is hard. Keeping it frozen is even harder. So technology is used to keep track of it.

Helpful Technology

A freezer at a hospital in Kentucky holds vials of vaccine at a very cold temperature.

SCOTTY PERRY—BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

Every box of Pfizer’s vaccine has a GPS device GPS Device pw gps TOMEKBUDUJEDOMEK—GETTY IMAGES (Global Positioning System device) a device that relies on satellites to find something (noun) The GPS device prevents Jack from getting lost whenever he drives. . It also has a temperature monitor. And it has a bar code. If the doses go to the wrong place or get too hot or cold, officials know.

Another vaccine, by the company Moderna, has been authorized. More are on the way. To stay on top of it all, the government made software software pw software LUIS ALVAREZ—GETTY IMAGES a set of computer programs (noun) The new software helps my computer run smoothly. . It’s called Tiberius. It helps agencies follow vaccines. “They can dive in and really go into great detail,” says Deacon Maddox. He works for the U.S. vaccine program.

JESSICA RINALDI—THE BOSTON GLOBE/GETTY IMAGES

The first people to get the vaccine have been healthcare workers and the elderly. Even with technology at work, vaccines won’t be available to most adults in the U.S. until at least this spring.

Dr. Anthony Fauci receives his first dose of vaccine on December 22, 2020.

PATRICK SEMANSKY—GETTY IMAGES/POOL

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