Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Medical is ahead of schedule in delivering 3.9 million doses of influenza vaccine, the chief of the pharmaceutical direct vendor delivery division said.
David Johns said contractors have shipped 99.5 percent of the vaccine to DLA Troop Support customers, totaling about $33 million worth of the preventative medicine.
DLA Troop Support Medical required two deliveries of the vaccine in August and September, but started receiving it from two vendors about a month ahead of schedule, allowing the vaccine to be administered earlier than originally predicted, he said.
More competition and additional price breaks allowed for better pricing, which also saved more than $700,000 than last year, Johns said.
Johns stressed the importance of the success of the program.
“A successful flu vaccine program means protecting our servicemen and women from an illness that could potentially affect their ability to perform their mission[s],” Johns said. “With timely delivery of the flu vaccine, we are able to mitigate the risk of our servicemen and women being infected by the yearly flu virus. “
Neil McAvinue, contracting officer with the DLA Troop Support pharmaceutical distribution integrated supply team, agreed.
“Our active-duty servicemen and women work closely as a team, so it is vital that they be immunized to prevent the spread of this infectious disease and to minimize downtime,” he said.
McAvinue said that to ensure contractors can fulfill the mission, he holds thorough discussions on topics such as requirements, the ability to get Food and Drug Administration releases, and the importance of meeting delivery timelines. Equally important, he said, is the intensive post-award monitoring of contract performance.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to contribute to such a worthwhile program in support of the warfighter and to work with such a dedicated group of people here in Medical,” Johns said. “This is my first flu season in Medical and I have been extremely impressed with how dedicated the entire team is in making this program a success.”