Abu Dhabi consortium to distribute 18 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses

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Abu Dhabi - The consortium represents a complete supply chain solution to address vaccine transport.


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 25 Nov 2020, 9:33 PM

Last updated: Wed 25 Nov 2020, 9:37 PM

A ‘Hope Consortium’ has been launched in Abu Dhabi to facilitate Covid-19 vaccine distribution across the world. Five million vaccine doses have been transported in November on behalf of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, which is spearheading the consortium and will oversee regulatory compliance, full chain expertise and scientific insight.

Amid an anticipated surge in vaccine logistics demand, the consortium represents a complete supply chain solution to address vaccine transport, demand planning, sourcing, training, and digital technology infrastructure. It comprises of leading Abu Dhabi and global entities, including Etihad Cargo; Abu Dhabi Ports Group; Rafed, the healthcare purchasing arm of Abu Dhabi-based ADQ; and Switzerland’s SkyCell, which develops temperature-controlled logistics containers for the pharmaceutical industry.

SkyCell will establish a regional service and manufacturing centre in Abu Dhabi.

The consortium will provide logistics services to handle over six billion doses from the vaccines being developed and manufactured around the world — whether in single or multi doses — in cold and ultra-cold conditions in 2021. This will increase to over three times more doses by the end of next year — the largest capacity and logistics capability regionally and one of the largest globally.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “While assuring vaccine supply to the domestic market, the Hope Consortium will offer international governments, non-governmental organisations, and vaccine suppliers a cohesive solution across every supply chain step — from air freight, regional storage and temperature monitoring, to inventory management, cold and ultra-cold container solution, regulatory clearance, and healthcare and pharma quality assurance.

“Developing a vaccine is only the first step in getting to a solution. Getting that vaccine to the whole globe, while maintaining a robust integrity of temperature is an equal challenge by itself. The Hope Consortium will provide that solution at the highest level of quality.”

The consortium’s partners already have “extensive expertise” in the global delivery of millions of Covid-19 related items, such as personal protective equipment, diagnostics consumables, vaccines and pharmaceuticals.

Distribution of the vaccines, which will be stored in Abu Dhabi Ports Company facilities, will be carried out by Etihad Cargo.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “With two-thirds of the world’s human footprint within a four-hour flight of Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital’s investment in technological expertise and world-class infrastructure facilities means we can serve as a global logistical hub to, and for, the world.”

The consortium intends to transport the vaccines using SkyCell’s hybrid containers. The storage and transportation containers are secured through an IoT monitoring service, which tracks temperature conditions to ensure sensitive vaccines are protected even under extreme conditions.

With efficient insulation and cutting-edge cooling technology, the containers maintain steady temperatures for an average of 202 hours (8.4 days) and self-recharge automatically in a cooling chamber or reefer truck.


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