Abu Dhabi: Covid-19 vaccine hub in desert impresses Bill Gates

The Hope Consortium has delivered millions of vaccines from the point of manufacture to the point of immunisation



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 21 May 2022, 2:18 PM

Last updated: Sat 21 May 2022, 10:38 PM

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates praised Abu Dhabi-led Hope Consortium for developing a world-class Covid-19 vaccine hub in the Capital.

Gates, a vaccine advocate, visited Abu Dhabi Ports’ state-of-the-art cold and ultra-cold storage facility that can hold all temperature brands of Covid-19 vaccines.

“It’s very modern. It got a lot of great refrigeration capacity, things are tracked very well,” he said at the KIZAD facility in remote area of Al Samha.

With an extensive end-to-end vaccine supply chain, the Consortium, along with its partners, have been able to deliver millions of vaccines from the point of manufacture to the point of immunisation.

Until last month, the consortium supported the distribution of 260 million vaccines to more than 60 countries around the world.

“It’s impressive to see millions of Covid-19 vaccines all in one place and think we are trying to deliver billions of these vaccines,” said the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The warehouse can accommodate more than 120 million vaccines at temperatures of +8 to -30 degrees at any time, and hosts the UAE’s largest ‘Freezer Farm,’ which can store over 11 million vaccine doses requiring the ultra-cold temperature of -70 degrees.

“Most vaccines spoil at room temperature. And so, depending on the vaccine it either has to be below eight degrees or it might have to, like some of the newer vaccines, be even colder,” he noted.

Abu Dhabi’s logistical capabilities, connectivity and strategic location has provided a unique advantage as a central hub for vaccine distribution to support the global response to the pandemic.

“Figuring out how to get them in the countries and getting them out into the rural areas is very difficult.

As things get very complex, overwhelming the refrigeration capacity in some countries, having an intermediate stop like this can help a lot.”

With a robust system for vaccine transport, storing and distribution, Abu Dhabi has consolidated its position as a world-class logistics hub for pharmaceutical products and vaccines.

“The logistics are important, particularly where you have vaccines that expire in a short period of time. Vaccines save lives. Having vaccines here ready to go, shows people have really stepped up for this pandemic,” the Microsoft founder added.

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