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FedEx says holiday shipping won't slow coronavirus vaccine

A FedEx senior vice president said the company is keeping its networks for shipping the vaccine and handling Christmas packages separate.

TOPEKA, Kan. — A FedEx executive says a higher-than-normal volume of Christmas-season package deliveries won’t interfere with the company’s effort to ship coronavirus vaccine doses.

Jenny Robertson, a FedEx senior vice president, said two trucks on Sunday moved doses of a vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health from a factory in Olive Branch, Mississippi, to the company’s world hub in nearby Memphis, Tennessee, so that shipments could be loaded onto its airplanes bound for multiple states.

She said the company is keeping its networks for shipping the vaccine and handling Christmas packages separate.

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“Nothing’s more important than the delivery of the vaccine to us, but we have put in place distinct networks that are keeping e-commerce moving through our ground network and vaccines moving through our express network,” she said. “We’re able to manage this volume right now.”

Robertson said the company has seen holiday-level volumes for shipping packages since March because consumers switched how they buy products during the pandemic.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 17 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Sunday, the U.S. had more than 317,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 76 million confirmed cases with more than 1.6 million deaths.

Credit: AP
A FedEx truck loaded with boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine leaves the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

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