The QPS clinical trial site in Springfield, Missouri, is staffed with healthcare providers and front-line healthcare workers and has remained open during the pandemic, providing clinical trial services to support new drug and vaccine development. Recently, as part of the US COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, QPS Missouri was granted an allotment of COVID-19 vaccine for its front-line healthcare workers. Upon completion of the staff vaccinations, there were a significant number of vaccines left over. Recognizing the significant public health emergency and a clear gap in service delivery, QPS Missouri stepped up to support the fight against the coronavirus by offering the remaining vaccines to the public in Springfield, Missouri, adhering strictly to the CDC recommendations for phased vaccine delivery. The administration of this supply of vaccines was completed in just a few days and, unfortunately, the site is no longer able to offer additional vaccines.
If the opportunity to assist in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines presents itself again, the site is fully equipped with appropriate ultra-cold storage facilities, well-established screening procedures, and capable personnel trained in vaccine delivery, and would be well placed to help fulfill this urgent public need. Brendon Bourg, the Vice President and General Manager of QPS Missouri, said, “We are very proud that QPS has the capability, personnel and equipment, to be able to support the critical effort to deliver COVID-19 vaccines. Stepping up to support this program is one way that we can play a small role in helping to end the pandemic. The QPS Missouri team did not hesitate when asked to do the extra work to announce this opportunity, enroll the eligible public, and then make the time to track and administer the vaccines.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging, with elevated case counts, high death rates, and new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerging around the globe. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19: the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. These two vaccines, currently available in the United States, are proven safe and about 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in adults. They are both administered in two doses, and the timing between the first and second shot depends on which vaccine you received. Those who receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must wait three weeks after receiving the first shot, and those who receive the Moderna vaccine must wait one month after receiving the first shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should receive your second shot as close to the recommend interval as possible.
These mRNA vaccines are currently available and being shipped out to sites capable of vaccine administration. Access to the vaccines has been limited so far, due in part to both the quantity of vaccines available and the logistics of setting up vaccination sites with the capability of storing vaccines in ultra-cold freezers. Federal, state, and local governments are working as quickly as possible to rectify these issues and ensure that all available doses of the vaccines are delivered and administered in a timely fashion.
The federal government oversees the centralized system that distributes COVID-19 vaccines to vaccination sites, and all vaccines are ordered through the CDC. Every step of the distribution process requires detailed planning, from establishing logistical plans with manufacturers and storing/handling the vaccines properly at specified temperatures to reporting vaccine inventory, ensuring safety surveillance, communicating with the public, and more. The CDC is working with state, tribal, territorial, and local jurisdictions as well as private partners and federal agencies to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccines can be widely distributed as quickly as possible.
To secure the best protection from COVID-19, individuals are encouraged to continue following the CDC’s recommendations, which include wearing a mask, staying six feet away from others, washing your hands often, covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, cleaning and disinfecting regularly, monitoring your health daily, and getting vaccinated when you are eligible.
Vaccine distribution is a key component of the global strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and QPS Missouri is proud to have played an important role in protecting its community by providing this limited quantity of COVID-19 vaccines.
Are you looking for a CRO to assist with your preclinical or clinical drug development related to the novel coronavirus or COVID-19? QPS has CLIA-certified and GLP-compliant laboratories ready to fast-track your novel coronavirus and COVID-19 RT-qPCR/QPCR and Serological Assays and vaccine development programs. Since 1995, QPS has provided discovery, preclinical, and clinical drug development services. An award-winning leader focused on bioanalytics and clinical trials, QPS is known for proven quality standards, technical expertise, a flexible approach to research, client satisfaction, and turnkey laboratories and facilities. For more information, visit www.qps.com/coronavirus or email [email protected].