Can Shipping Container Clinics Be The Solution To The U.S Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution?

Photo By Edwin Hooper

Is help on the way?

World health officials are increasingly optimistic that a usable vaccine is near to fight the novel coronavirus. Researchers linked to the Center for Global Development estimate with an 85% probability that a vaccine will be ready by 2021.  According to the World Health Organization 8 vaccine candidates in progress are near to achieving the final stage of testing, which will give the global economy a much-needed boost. While this news is some of the most positive we have seen in months regarding the coronavirus, the news does not come without major manufacturing challenges and issues of scale. Governments across the world are concentrated on the historic task of getting vaccines to their people effectively and quickly.

U.S Vaccine Distribution Scale

The U.S is currently planning the manufacture and delivery of more than 300 million safe and efficient vaccines. The two federal agencies tasked are the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD). Their distribution strategy is called Operation Warp Speed. The goal of Operation warp speed is to

“produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures).”

HHS.gov

The supply, production, and distribution of the vaccine is an intra-governmental endeavor. According to recent news, distribution is one area where the project is falling behind. In a letter to governors, the Centers for Disease Controls director Dr. Robert Redfield explained distribution centers need to be up running by the first of November. With the tremendous amount of work that needs to be done, shipping container clinics are proving to be a viable solution and may help expedite the process of setting up the distribution centers.

Benefits of Shipping Container Vaccine Clinics

Storied History

There is a long global history with the use of shipping containers in; disasters, outbreaks, low patient density, severe climates, and conflict zones. Hospitals and doctors’ offices can focus on what they do best. Shipping container vaccine clinics reduce the traffic into the central facility and help maintain its space and employees from being overwhelmed.

Constructibility

To date, shipping containers are used as the primary mode of transport in global commerce because they are portable, secure, and structurally strong enough to be stacked high on top of each other. They can also be manufactured quicker than other building methods. The lean manufacturing factory-built approach provides an efficient assembly line process within a controlled environment, which can provide greater quality in a shorter time.

RK Mission Critical Disaster Response Team Container Hospital

Shipping Container Supply

The supply of shipping containers is a valuable building asset, more than 19,000 shipping containers enter the U.S every day. The domestic stock of containers allows for container vaccine clinics to be manufactured locally with a limited need for long-distance shipping. 

Reuse & Repurpose

Shipping container clinics and shipping container hospitals can be long-term solutions for future pandemics, natural disaster response, or community-wide requirements. When the vaccine distribution is complete the containers can be repurposed into; triage rooms, exam rooms, infusion rooms, treatment rooms, testing facilities, laboratories, patient rooms, quarantine rooms, isolation rooms, or surge space for non-critical care. If the containers are not repurposed they can be used for U.S medical stock for the next 40+ years. If another pandemic happens the containers can be brought out of stock and fitted with current medical technology.

Design

The shipping container clinic modular design accommodates mobile site arrangements depending on population requirements. Shipping container vaccine clinics are designed to be hospital-grade; fitted with climate control, air quality, storage, electrical wiring, plumbing, doors, security, and furnishings.

Sustainability

Shipping container clinics can be designed with LEED green building concepts specifically for the healthcare field. Clean energy power can be generated through containerized deployable solar energy which can save money compared to diesel generators, while not releasing C02 emissions. HVAC can be run off of solar panels on the roof of the container hospital, which is one of the largest energy needs in buildings. RoxBox can provide solar-powered refrigeration and/or freezer containers to keep vaccines at the necessary temperature – allowing for remote vaccine distribution hubs.

The RoxBox Promise

RoxBox has teamed up with RK Mission Critical, TreanorHL, Martin/Martin Inc, and Cator Ruma & Associates to build Offsite-Manufactured Health Care Facilities out of shipping containers. This multi-organizational endeavor extends assistance in building the infrastructure required to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our crisis management team has specialized knowledge in the container construction and modular construction industry and we are willing to allocate our many resources to assist in this crisis!