MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Vice President Mike Pence spent Thursday afternoon in Memphis meeting with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and FedEx executives to discuss Operation Warp Speed, which includes the plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccinations - not only in Tennessee, but across the country.
Pence leads the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The group gathered for a roundtable discussion about plans to combat the coronavirus.
FedEx will play a key role in distributing millions of doses of vaccines once they are approved by the federal government.
Pence arrived on Air Force Two around 1:00 p.m. Thursday. He was greeted by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, and other health leaders.
Federal Express founder Fred Smith and his son Richard Smith, Executive Vice President of Global Support, were at the roundtable, as well as other FedEx executives helping to execute the vaccine distribution plans.
"Help is on the way, " said Pence, who also said Americans should not give up, asking them to remain hopeful.
Pence said we are just days away from COVID-19 vaccine approval.
Once vaccines are approved, FedEx will help move vaccines from manufacturers and distributors to administration sites, such as hospitals and pharmacies.
Distribution could begin within a day of FDA approval of a vaccine, and the plan is for vaccinations to begin within the first 24 hours.
Pence also said there is a plan to have CVS and Walgreens pharmacists administer vaccines to people in long term care facilities.
So far, Pfizer and Moderna have requested emergency approval of the vaccine. Others vaccine makers plan to follow.
FedEx leaders said once vaccines are approved, shipping the vaccine will be the company's highest priority. New technology will help track the shipping and distribution.
"We will get through this, and we will get through this together," said Pence.