The Covid-19 vaccine distribution: An ultra-marathon into the future
With limited approvals and more than 50 vaccines in clinical trials, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. There is no, single existing logistics model that can handle mass distribution of such scale, and in that respect, this global effort is an opportunity to build a Pharmaceutical and Healthcare supply chain ecosystem for the future.
At Maersk, our aim will always be to provide a solution that takes the product from factory to patient. And in the case of the vaccine, we are working with Governments, Ministries of Health, NGOs, and other logistics service providers to plan the whole rollout over the next few years. Learn more in this video from Hristo Petkov, Global Vertical Head, Pharmaceuticals, Maersk.
There’s no doubt that providing people with the COVID -19 vaccine around the world is going to be a mammoth task. With such scale, challenges are bound to arise. Discover how we've carefully thought through our solutions, in order to minimise mistakes, maximise efficiency, and prevent community systems from being overloaded.
Helping partners succeed on a global stage
On their mission to defeat COVID-19, COVAXX, a subsidiary of United Biomedical Inc. (UBI), has partnered with us. Together, we are committed to bringing their COVID-19 vaccine to developing countries, where needs are largely unmet today. The aim is to distribute up to a billion doses worldwide in 2021.
Maersk will drive logistics-related activities, from origin to destination, to ensure the highest levels of efficiency at every stage of the distribution. We’ve moulded our GDP compliant, temperature-controlled supply chain to meet COVAXX’s precise needs, including packing, transportation via ship, air, and land, warehousing, and distribution, all connected and simplified by our end-to-end supply chain management.
It is not enough to focus on vaccine development and approvals. We must work in parallel to establish the infrastructure and partners with the strongest capabilities, like Maersk, to safely deliver our vaccine around the world.
Battling a worldwide public health emergency will take more than the might of a global, cold chain network. What our partners and patients also need is a deep understanding of the local nuances, especially of areas that are difficult to reach let alone able to sustain GDP compliant supply chains.
In South Sudan, for instance, administrative and logistics challenges made it imperative for our humanitarian partners at the UN to start building cold chain capacity early. In order to expedite their efforts and provide them with more time for planning, we have donated three 40-foot refrigerated containers to the country. These containers will serve as strategically located cold chain storage units for last mile deployment to hospitals and communities, where the vaccines will be administered.
Additionally, for this special project in South Sudan, we’ve built on everything we learnt last year from our work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Mozambique, following Cyclone Idai. In a matter of days, the WHO needed to distribute a Cholera vaccine, which they were able to do successfully by relying heavily on our cold chain capabilities. In the coming months, we intend to provide the same cold chain resilience to the people in South Sudan.
Minimising the negative impact on your supply chain
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has had a major impact on the logistics industry and will continue to cause disruptions for some time. Various industries are facing challenges along their supply chain such as vendor´s low capacity and production, raw material shortages, lead time issues, ocean blank sailings and truck/transport capacity constraints.
"While the current situation is unavoidably adding pressure to our business too, we want to reassure you that Maersk went into this situation from a position of strength and is a well and conservatively financed company, with a solid foundation to see you and your important cargo through these volatile times." says Vincent Clerc, CEO of Ocean and Logistics at Maersk.