COVID-19

Covid-19 – The Pfizer Vaccine Route in Allier

The deliveries are delivered in an unmarked truck for added security at the Moulin-Isère hospital center, an institution that receives vaccines for the entire Allier department. Delivery is announced in just a few hours, always for security reasons. At first, some were accompanied by the police.
The truck is parked behind the hospital. Christoph Losur, storekeeper, checks the number of boxes and their (good) condition. Refrigerated boxes to store the vaccine at -70 degrees. They are then transferred to a room designated for Covid vaccines in a safe place.

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Respect the cold chain

There Christophe Losour finds Thierry Montgillard, a pharmacist. They check the contents of the bags, wear gloves and goggles to protect them from cold and dry ice.

“At -70 degrees, carbon dioxide snow sticks to the skin, which is directly washed. This snow also emits CO2, we have an adapted ventilation system, and we ventilate the room as much as possible. “

Dr. Emmanuel Halali (Pharmacy manager)

The storekeeper and technician at the pharmacy begin by removing the probe from the box and plugging it into a computer to make sure no incidents have occurred in the cold chain. Time is running out: they have three minutes to get the vaccines out of the box and place them in a special freezer in which they are kept at -70 degrees.

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Lot numbers are also recorded.
Christophe Losur then picks up the shipped boxes. They will be returned on next delivery.


The next step begins. Received vaccines must be distributed to the department. “Every Monday we have a meeting with all vaccination centers in the department and an ARS representative. We also have a system of order forms that we constantly update, ”explains Dr. Emmanuel Halali.
Thierry Montgillard is responsible for preparing orders for the hospitals of Montluçon, Vichy and Coeur du Bourbonnais, as well as the regional associations of medical professionals in Allier South and Allier North. Each organization can pick up their order from the Moulin Hospital and distribute it on their territory. The vaccines are then thawed: “It used to be thought that they only expired five days after they were taken out of the freezer. Now the deadline is one month, it’s less stressful, ”explains Thierry Montgillard.

Permanent traceability

In addition to the vaccine, each order includes reconstitution syringes, saline and injection syringes. What constitutes the bulk of the volume.


Nurse Assistant Odile Kabat is responsible for the various services at Moulin-Isère Hospital and its vaccination center. “Shortly before vaccination, I prepare a refrigerator with ice to cool it down, then I go to the pharmacy. I sign the traceability sheet that has already been completed by the pharmacy compiler. It contains the time to remove from the freezer and the batch number. I add the date and time of delivery by car. You have to be very careful while driving, ”explains the paramedic. “Vaccines are really fragile, I say it over and over again,” confirms Emmanuel Halali.

Why Allier is the most vaccinating department in France

Once the vaccines arrive, they are counted again. As with each new step, the person fills out and signs the traceability sheet.
“We have implemented this tracking capability to be able to monitor all stages of the vaccination process. Therefore, in the event of a problem, it is very easy to check what could have happened, ”explains Genevieve Tresse, Logistics Manager.
At the start of a vaccination campaign, the first step was to ensure that all planned quantities of vaccine reached their destination. Today, even if the freezer is empty at the end of the week, the compartment has everything you need.

Marie Colline

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