ZEPAI to Manage Supply of Pandemic Vaccines in Germany
The Center for Pandemic Vaccines and Therapeutics (ZEPAI) at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut officially took over the active management of vaccine supplies in Germany on 1 May 2022.
The Center for Pandemic Vaccines and Therapeutics was recently established in October 2021 at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut by the German Ministry of Health (Bundesgesundheitsministerium, BMG). Having completed the necessary preparations, the center has now taken over operational tasks key in the fight against pandemics.
As of 1 May 2022, ZEPAI is responsible for actively managing the supply and distribution of pandemic vaccines to the people of Germany. The Bundeswehr (Germany’s Armed Forces) had been previously assigned this role in the ongoing pandemic. Tasks include the active supervision and monitoring of vaccine storage and distribution within Germany to ensure an adequate supply of pandemic vaccines.
In order to ensure adequate pandemic preparedness in the future, ZEPAI staff are focusing on the strategic development of concepts for vaccine storage and distribution. A key task is establishing an effective quality management system: to this end, standards pertaining to the entire supply chain will need to be identified and defined.
To ensure a smooth transition in adopting the tasks relevant to vaccine distribution, ZEPAI will act as the main coordinating body, effectively communicating with pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesalers as well as logistics providers and additional relevant stakeholders.
The new purview also includes coordinating and managing inquiries, claims, and complaints in order to be able to quickly identify and counteract any potential road blocks as they occur. This also pertains to coordinating potential recalls and returns of vaccines.