DHL flew first batches of vaccine to Israel
Further flights to various countries are scheduled for 2020 and beyond
DHL has started the international distribution of COVID-19 vaccines with the air transport of the first batches of the vaccine to Israel.
The Israeli government received the first batch of the vaccine with flights operated by DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding in the second week of December.
The first DHL Express aircraft touched down at the Ben-Gurion International Airport Tel Aviv on December 9 and was received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. DHL Global Forwarding, the international freight specialist arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group, also dedicated a charter flight for additional supplies of vaccine doses, which arrived at the airport on December 10, with more to follow.
Travis Cobb, head of global network operations and aviation at DHL Express, said that after months of preparation, the supply chain company has started its vaccine distribution to help make the vaccine accessible worldwide.
In addition to the first flights to Israel, DHL is preparing to carry out further flights in December and beyond with vaccines from its worldwide operating hubs.
DHL said it is equipped and prepared for a worldwide supply of COVID-19 vaccines with its aircraft fleet of more than 260 dedicated planes, numerous partner airlines and a hub and gateway network spanning more than 220 countries and territories.
“On a global scale logistics providers are challenged to establish medical supply chain rapidly to deliver vaccines of unprecedented amount of more than 10 billion doses worldwide—also in regions with less developed logistics infrastructures, where about 3 billion people live,” DHL said.
To provide global coverage over the next two years, up to 200,000 pallet shippers and 15 million cooling boxes as well as 15,000 flights will be required across the various supply chain setups, it said.
With vaccines historically developed over a timeline of 5 to 20 years, the accelerated process of COVID-19 within one year is unprecedented. As COVID-19 vaccines have leapfrogged development phases, stringent temperature requirements (up to -80°C) are likely to be imposed for certain vaccines to ensure their effectiveness during transportation and warehousing.
Photo courtesy of DHL