Zebra Technologies plays key role in vaccine distribution, CEO says

Zebra Technologies plays key role in vaccine distribution, CEO says

Zebra Technologies has played a role in coronavirus testing to fight off the pandemic, and now the barcode company has a new role to play in preventing the deadly virus from spreading further, CEO Anders Gustaffson told CNBC’s Jim Cramer Friday.

While Zebra’s products have been used for tracking samples from mass tracking sites, the company is also being counted on for vaccine distributions in what’s known as cold chain, a temperature-controlled supply chain.

“Our vaccine vial labels,” which can also be used on boxes and pallets “will change color based on the temperature exposure,” Gustaffson said in a “Mad Money” interview.

The labels come from Temptime, a manufacturer of temperature monitoring solutions for the health-care industry that the Lincolnshire, Illinois-based company acquired nearly two years ago.

Pfizer and BioNTech on Friday became the first company in the race to produce a viable Covid-19 vaccine to apply for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The review process is expected to take some weeks, after which 100 million doses are slated to be provided to the U.S. government as part of Operation Warp Speed.

Pfizer plans to begin shipping off its vaccine, which requires ultra-cold storage, as soon as it receives approval.

That’s where Zebra comes in. While Gustaffson did not say what vaccine producers his company is working with, he said Zebra will play a role in transporting the inoculations.

“We can help to quality control the vaccine to make sure that when it’s injected in somebody, when it’s administered, it’s been within the right temperature range to ensure maximum efficiency,” he explained to Cramer.

Pfizer said its vaccine is 95% effective in preventing contraction of Covid-19, the sometimes deadly disease caused by a novel coronavirus. Moderna is another drugmaker in late-stage trials for a vaccine candidate, which the company said is 94% effective.

Vaccines must be transported in cold conditions, or they could become ineffective.

“We also have now our new Reflexis software applications, where we have a module which helps pharmacies and other smaller clinics to schedule all the patients who want to come in and be injected,” Gustaffson said.

Zebra shares slipped 1% in Friday’s session to close at $354.99 per share. The stock is up almost 39% year to date.

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