Saskatchewan is over 650,000 square kilometres with 16 cities, 147 towns, 250 villages and 41 resort villages of which 24 are northern municipalities dotting the landscape. Supply Chain is familiar with the challenges of keeping inventory supplied to a province with far reaching needs. The COVID-19 vaccine is no different, other than special demands related to storage.
“Our distribution model has been developed around the storage requirements for the two vaccines available to us at present, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna,” said Perry Froehlich, Logistics Lead, Vaccine Distribution, Saskatchewan Health Authority. “Although both vaccines are equal in terms of safety and effectiveness, the storage differences have led to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine being better for urban use, while Moderna is best suited for rural distribution.”
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be maintained at -80 C until it’s reconstituted for use, so the vaccines are currently sent to four urban hubs in the province. From these locations, the vaccine is dispersed to local facilities for immunization.
The Moderna vaccine does not require the same ultra-cold storage (only -20 C) so it can be delivered to a central location by the manufacturer and then distributed to various locations.
Vaccines are then shipped to secondary hubs located across the province by contracted courier services and then from the secondary hubs, the process follows existing local vaccine delivery processes primarily performed by the SHA's ever-efficient Public Health nursing teams, just as is the process for other immunization campaigns.
For more information on the Vaccine Delivery Plan, visit
A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.