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How Manufacturers Put Together 17 Vaccination Events

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You could say this was just another supply chain challenge for Marlin Steel Wire Products President and Owner Drew Greenblatt—a matter of getting the right materials to the right people at the right time. Except in this case, the right materials were COVID-19 vaccines, the right people were more than 3,300 manufacturing workers at 81 companies, and the right time was ASAP.

Greenblatt organized a coalition of Maryland manufacturers interested in hosting their own vaccination events, which required liaising with government officials and partnering with local pharmacies. The companies will host 17 events at their facilities, bringing in pharmacy employees to administer Pfizer vaccines.

First time: This grand plan went into motion last week, with the first vaccination events held on March 31. More than 120 essential manufacturing employees from Marlin Steel (a wire products and metal fabrication firm), Orlando Products (a disposable and reusable packaging maker) and Arnold Packaging (a producer of packaging and containers) got their shots at the Orlando facility. Meanwhile, a second event took place at the facility of spice manufacturer McCormick for that company’s employees.

NAM Director of Photography David Bohrer attended the Orlando event, capturing the vaccinations in progress. Here is a pharmacy worker explaining the COVID-19 shot record card to an employee who just got his first dose:

And here’s Hector Carmona of Marlin Steel receiving his shot:

Behind Marlin Steel employee Jake Dieter, you can see other employees waiting the required 15 minutes after they receive their vaccinations (in case of adverse reactions).

And last, here’s a McCormick employee celebrating her vaccination with a pharmacy employee (this photo was taken by McCormick staff at the company’s event).

How they did it: To help other manufacturers who might be interested in hosting vaccination clinics, Greenblatt explained to us how he planned the events.

The entire process took just under two months, beginning in late January. Greenblatt sprang into action once essential manufacturing workers became eligible for vaccinations in Maryland. Seeing his employees struggle to get appointments, he decided to work with other companies to make things easier for manufacturing workers. This is how they did it:

  • First, a project manager at each company assembled a list of “critical” employees who wished to be vaccinated.
  • Out of 8,000 employees, they built a spreadsheet of 3,300 essential manufacturing workers who were not vaccinated and were willing to receive the shots.
  • At the request of the Maryland governor’s office, Greenblatt’s coalition partnered with Giant, Safeway and Rite Aid to get the vaccine. He jumped at the opportunity to work with efficient private-sector partners, as opposed to a patchwork of county governments. This allowed the coalition to move much more quickly—and to nail down the supply of the vaccine much faster.
  • Once all the pharmacies and companies were committed, everything moved very quickly. The companies were warned that they had to be ready to vaccinate “at the drop of a hat,” so once the vaccination dates were confirmed, they coordinated with each other and the pharmacies directly to get workers where they needed to go.

The coalition has had the enthusiastic support of the Maryland government throughout its efforts. Gov. Larry Hogan, whose office was instrumental in arranging the vaccination events, will attend one of them in person in the coming days.

The last word: “We got it done. A mass inoculation blitz of 3,300 essential manufacturing workers in Maryland are getting the vaccine in 17 locations over the next couple days,” said Greenblatt. “Governor Hogan led the charge to make sure our food processing, medical products manufacturing and defense workers are protected against COVID-19. This leadership will keep our nation safe.”

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