Rochester company helps to safely transport nearly all COVID vaccines in U.S. and Japan

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. Almost every COVID-19 vaccine transported from the drug makers to states, counties, pharmacies and hospitals across the United States was sent in shipping containers developed and produced right here in Rochester.

AeroSafe Global has been around for more than 15 years, but business exploded during the pandemic and the State of New York took notice. In an unassuming warehouse on Buffalo Road, AeroSafe Global is helping patients get the medications and therapies they need.

The temperature-controlled boxes made here are used by drug makers all over the world to safely ship their products.

“We can tell exact location, real-time and temperature and even chain of custody if need be so we know when it arrives at your house,” explains CEO Jay McHarg.

If for any reason there are major shipping delays, AeroSafe has real-time data on whether the therapy or drug inside has been compromised. What’s inside its boxes often helps to save lives.

As for the boxes themselves, “they are built to be reused so we can use them up to 100 times, which allows us to invest more in them,” McHarg says.

The safe transport of temperature-sensitive medications was already a growing business but then COVID hit and all the vaccines approved for emergency use required it.

“We needed to grow much faster and there was no room for error,” McHarg says. “There was a sense of urgency like never before so we were well equipped.”

And big pharma companies noticed, particularly Pfizer and Merck.

“We helped the companies ship vaccines in Japan, in the US and in Europe,” says McHarg.

AeroSafe Global then signed on with major pharmacy chains to offer boxes that go even further.

“We digitally enabled them all too so we could tell exact time, temperature, location and worked with the CVS and Walgreens to again distribute them from there all the way to the long-term care facilities, so connecting the dots from the factory to the patient is what we do,” says McHarg.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and his team noticed. They chose to invest about $30 million from the state pension funding into AeroSafe Global.

“I mean the growth has been incredible and when you look at how many businesses suffered during COVID, some of which went out of business, this was a company because of the uniqueness of their product and their delivery service,” says Comptroller DiNapoli. “They were right place, right time.”

CEO Jay McHarg says it’s a team effort that they continue to expand upon.

“It’s the people in the company that do it and their passion for the cause,” he tells News10NBC. “They go home at the end of the day and the containers they made are saving lives. That’s pretty cool. When you’re watching a commercial and you say, ‘Hey kids, that drug is in the box I just made today.'”