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CRST International helping to distribute COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 10:27 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Vaccines have been arriving at six sites in Iowa starting Monday. CRST International, a Cedar Rapids-based transportation firm, has a major role in moving the vaccine.

CRST has been working with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers for a few months now, helping with storage equipment, test vials and more. But now, drivers are hauling the vaccine itself.

President of Expedited Solutions Chad Brueck says their teams started delivering the vaccine soon after it was approved. The trucks have enhanced security measures, including interior door locks, driver codes, and the ability to remotely disable a vehicle- all making sure the vaccine reaches its intended destination safely. “We don’t know how much is in the trailers. They keep that pretty close to the vest for obvious reasons. But as far as our estimations, we are fairly confident that we’ve done more than a million doses already,” says Brueck.

During the drive, its critical the vaccines be kept at the right temperature. Some need to be as cold as 70 degrees below zero, Celsius- that’s negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit. That means the vaccine has to be packaged specially by manufacturers, and Brueck says there were tests done to make sure it would last through the drive.

Brueck says the pandemic has given truck drivers more work than ever before. And, if and when more vaccines get the green light, he says he only expects to get busier, and hopes to increase the number of trucks helping to distribute the vaccine. “We’re probably about a dozen in the pharma fleet right now, but we’re hoping by the time things really get figured out and kind of running at full speed, I guess I would say, that we’ll be somewhere in that 25 range, 25-50, is about what we think will be pretty much devoted to the pharma fleet,” says Brueck.

He says he’s grateful to his teams for stepping up to distribute the vaccine, saying ”The amount of work that we’ve put in, and we’ll continue to put in to make sure we’re rising to the occasion to handle all the businesses we possible can help with is something we take pride in.”

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