Key Milestone: DHL Delivers 1 Billion COVID-19 Vaccine Doses
COVID-19 has become the largest global health crisis in a century. Governments, NGOs, and public authorities have focused on containing the virus, accelerating vaccination programs to keep populations safe, and ensuring that economies recover quickly.
Since the global vaccine campaign began in December 2020, DHL has safely delivered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 160 countries, playing a key role in the global vaccination roll-out.
Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL said: "Looking back at the state of emergency these past nine months, we are honored to be playing our part, seamlessly managing and executing multiple supply chain set-ups without cold chain interruptions or security incidents.
"We are working across multiple supply chain set-ups and managing direct distributions in certain countries. We implemented new, dedicated, and reliable services at an accelerated speed to ship the highly temperature-sensitive vaccines, as well as ancillary supplies and test kits."
The global vaccination campaign represents a crucial instrument in the fight against the virus, and it is essential for containing further virus variants.
Besides managing various and complex supply chain set-ups, the sensitive temperature requirements have been a major challenge for logistics experts.
Claudia Roa, President of Life Sciences & Healthcare at DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation said: "Our advantage is that we already had a sophisticated network in place with the necessary healthcare expertise. This allowed us to react swiftly.
"We ship the vaccines in special active thermal containers equipped with state-of-the-art GPS temperature trackers to ensure consistent temperatures and provide full transparency throughout the entire journey."
DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Express have been tasked with transporting COVID-19 vaccines on multiple routes from Europe and other origins to countries across Asia Pacific, South America, and Europe.
DHL Supply Chain is responsible for the proper storage and local distribution of the vaccines in several German states.
Thomas Ellmann, Vice President of Life Sciences & Healthcare, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation said: "The current COVID-19 situation clearly demonstrates how collaboration across governments and NGOs, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, and logistics companies is the only way to beat pandemics, both now and in the future."
As outlined in DHL's white paper "Revisiting Pandemic Resilience", the logistics infrastructure and capacity built up for the pandemic should be maintained because another 7-9 billion vaccine doses will be needed annually in the coming years to keep (re-)infection rates low and to slow down the pace of virus mutations - not counting seasonal fluctuations.
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