New York – UNICEF launches talks with more than 350 logistics organizations to sharpen delivery plans for ultimate COVID-19 vaccines
UNICEF is working with major international airlines and cargo carriers to strengthen efforts to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to more than 92 countries around the world as soon as vaccines become available.
To launch preparations, UNICEF last week, along with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) briefed major international airlines on the expected capacity requirements and ways to deliver nearly 2 billion doses of COVID-19 to transport. vaccines in 2021. This is in addition to the 1 billion syringes to be transported by sea.
This virtual meeting comes on the heels of the very first logistical event virtually hosted by UNICEF to discuss the transport of COVID-19 vaccines. The important discussion brought together more than 350 logistics partners, including air freight operators, shipping companies and global logistics associations.
“As work continues on the development of COVID-19 vaccines, UNICEF is stepping up its efforts with airlines, cargo operators, shipping companies and other logistics associations to deliver life-saving vaccines as quickly and safely as possible,” said Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF’s Supply Division . “This invaluable collaboration will go a long way in ensuring that enough transport capacity is in place for this historic and gigantic operation. We need all hands on deck as we prepare for COVID-19 vaccine doses, syringes and more personal protective equipment. “Protecting frontline workers around the world. By protecting these workers, we ultimately protect the millions of children who depend on their critical services.”
In the coming weeks, UNICEF will also assess the existing transport capacity to identify gaps and future requirements. The acquisition, delivery and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to be the largest and fastest operation ever undertaken. UNICEF is leading the efforts to obtain and deliver vaccines from manufacturers that have agreements with the COVAX facility. In collaboration with PAHO, UNICEF will coordinate purchasing and delivery for 92 low- and lower-middle-income economies as quickly and safely as possible.
These efforts build on UNICEF’s years of efforts with the logistics industry to transport supplies around the world, despite constraints related to the pandemic. Since January, UNICEF has provided more than US $ 190 million in COVID-19 supplies, including masks, gowns, oxygen concentrators and diagnostic test kits in support of countries in response to the pandemic.
As the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, UNICEF typically obtains more than 2 billion doses of vaccines for routine immunization and outbreak response annually on behalf of nearly 100 countries. This unmatched expertise includes coordinating thousands of shipments with different cold chain requirements, making UNICEF an expert in managing the supply chain of temperature-controlled products, which is especially needed during this historic venture. To reduce disruptions to routine vaccination programs due to COVID-19 vaccines and syringe operations, UNICEF and partners will continue to work closely with logistics operators for timely delivery around the world.
“The support of governments, partners and the private sector will be of paramount importance to transport vaccines for deadly diseases such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus, as well as for COVID-19, as efficiently as possible,” Kadilli said.
Last month, UNICEF began a process of storing more than 1 billion syringes by 2021 to guarantee the initial supply and pre-position for COVID-19 vaccines.