McKesson signs up with Warp Speed to distribute COVID-19 shots in U.S.

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(Rich Legg/Getty Images) McKesson, the nation's largest vaccine distributor, will handle the government's COVID-19 shot effort. (Getty)

The U.S. government has placed a series of multibillion-dollar bets on potential COVID-19 vaccines. But actually getting those vaccines to patients is another story, and now the government has picked a distributor to aid that effort. 

The Trump administration has tapped Dallas-based distribution giant McKesson to partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a national distributor for COVID-19 vaccines. 

Under a 2016 childhood vaccine deal, the CDC had an option to draft McKesson to distribute vaccines in case of a pandemic, according to a Department of Defense release. While financial terms of the option weren't disclosed, Bloomberg reported the overall deal could be worth up to $300 million. 

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McKesson, perhaps best known in recent years for its legal troubles over the nation's opioid epidemic, is familiar with pandemic scenarios. In 2009, the Obama administration brought the company in to handle national distribution of H1N1 flu vaccines. 

RELATED: States reject drug wholesalers' $18B opioid settlement offer: WSJ

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