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Merkley: Vaccines Will Bring Logistical Challenges


U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, says despite the encouraging news this month on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, the fight against the coronavirus is far from over.

For instance, Merkley said getting the vaccines into the hands of medical providers brings a huge set of challenges, especially since the two leading efforts both require cold temperatures for shipment and storage.

“We don’t really know for sure which vaccine is going to be distributed," he said. "And there are instructions right now to communities, ‘don’t yet buy deep freeze resources because we’re not sure exactly what we’ll need.’ And yet we’ll need it in a very short period of time.”

Merkley spoke Wednesday at a forum on global health sponsored by Global PDX. Merkley said the pandemic has highlighted the need to streamline the health care system and reduce dependence on foreign supply chains for medical products.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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