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Dubai launches logistics alliance to distribute 2 billion Covid-19 vaccine shots in 2021

Dubai launches logistics alliance to distribute 2 billion Covid-19 vaccine shots in 2021

Members of the alliance include Emirates airline, DP World, Dubai Airports, and the International Humanitarian City, which will partner on the World Health Organisation’s COVAX initiative

Dubai Vaccines Logistics Alliance

Dubai has launched a Vaccine Logistics Alliance to facilitate the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine shots around the world, via the emirate.

The Dubai Vaccines Logistics Alliance, launched under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will coordinate the expertise of Emirates airline, DP World’s global network of ports, the infrastructure of Dubai Airports and the International Humanitarian City to help meet the objectives of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVAX initiative to equitably distribute two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021.

The distribution will particularly focus on emerging markets which have been severely affected by the pandemic and where pharmaceutical transport and logistics are challenging.

The alliance will work with multiple stakeholders including pharmaceutical manufacturers, forwarders, government agencies and other entities for the transportation of these vaccines.

“Each alliance partner brings to the table a specific and complementary set of strengths and capabilities in vaccine distribution, allowing us to build a 360-degree solution that harnesses the combined logistical and infrastructural advantages of Dubai as a hub. Together, we are able to store a large volume of vaccine doses at a time and bring in and distribute vaccines to any point around the world within 48 hours,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Dubai Airports and chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group.

Emirates SkyCargo
Emirates SkyCargo has over 15,000 square metres of cool chain space for pharmaceuticals across its terminals in Dubai and has already been involved in the distribution of vaccines.

“Emirates SkyCargo has taken a global leadership position during the Covid-19 pandemic for the distribution of medical supplies and PPE,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior vice president of cargo.

“We recently activated the world’s largest airside hub dedicated to the storage and global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines at Dubai South. With our modern wide-body aircraft fleet, our network reaching more than 135 cities across six continents including major pharma hubs, and our expertise in handling pharma shipments, we are well placed to work with our partners in the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance in order to make sure that the Covid-19 vaccines are reaching every corner of the globe, especially cities in emerging markets.”

International Humanitarian City
The International Humanitarian City (IHC) and Emirates SkyCargo have already partnered on many humanitarian cargo flights and earlier in 2020, and also signed an MoU for closer collaboration for humanitarian assistance flights.

“Since the current global crisis began, the IHC has facilitated the distribution of over 80 per cent of the WHO’s global medical response in the fight against Covid-19,” said Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of International Humanitarian City.

DP World
DP World meanwhile will transport, store and distribute the Covid-19 vaccines.

DP World logistics operations will facilitate the collection of vaccines from manufacturing sites in places like Europe, the US and India and deliver them to airports, seaports and dryports for onward transportation. Its GDP-compliant network of warehousing and distribution hubs will be used to store vaccines for time and temperature sensitive distribution to hospitals and clinics.

It will also deploy its track-and-trace technology, such as Cargoes Flow, to give real-time information on the location of shipments, and continual temperature control and monitoring. Its ports and terminals, including Jebel Ali in Dubai, will be used to ship, store and distribute medical devices, such as syringes and wipes.

On Wednesday, DP World and UNICEF also announced a partnership to support the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and related immunisation supplies in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

The new multi-million-dollar partnership is the largest to date to support UNICEF’s role in procuring and supplying 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines and auxiliary vaccination supplies on behalf of the COVAX Facility.

Dubai Airports
Dubai Airports, the operator of Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), will provide additional space at dedicated facilities at DXB. The repurposed cargo facilities will act as storage for Covid-19 vaccines that will be transported through its interlinked operations at DXB and DWC.

Working closely with Emirates SkyCargo and Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Airports will ensure that the additional capacity for vaccine storage meets all the stringent regulatory guidelines for transportation of Covid-19 vaccines.

“Dubai’s central location means it is easily accessible to almost 80 per cent of the world’s population within just four hours, making the decision to join forces and develop the world’s preeminent distribution hub a very strategic one,” said CEO of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths.

“Over the coming months, there will undoubtedly be a major surge in demand for the efficient, safe and reliable global distribution of high volumes of Covid-19 vaccines, and we wanted to be ready to respond to and accommodate that demand. This alliance is timed perfectly and will not only support a global need, but also support the future of travel.”

Abu Dhabi Hope Consortium
In November, Dubai’s neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi launched the Hope Consortium to handle the logistics for over six billion doses of the vaccines manufactured around the world – whether in single or multi doses – in cold and ultra-cold conditions in 2021.

Read: Abu Dhabi’s Hope Consortium to facilitate worldwide distribution of Covid-19 vaccine

The consortium members include Etihad Cargo, Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Rafed, the healthcare purchasing arm of Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, and Switzerland’s SkyCell, which develops advanced temperature-controlled logistics containers for the pharmaceutical industry.

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