Key milestone: DHL delivers 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses

Key milestone: DHL delivers 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses
  • 1 billion vaccine doses shipped to more than 160 countries in the fight against COVID-19 since December 2020
  • Smooth management and execution of different supply chain set-ups
  • Planning essential to identify and prevent future health emergencies

SINGAPORE, Sept. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — COVID-19 has become the largest global health crisis in a century. Governments, NGOs, and public authorities have focused on containing the virus, accelerating vaccination programs to keep populations safe, and ensuring that economies recover quickly. Since the global vaccine campaign began in December 2020, DHL has safely delivered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 160 countries, playing a key role in the global vaccination roll-out.

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Preparing COVID-19 vaccines for delivery at a DHL facility
Preparing COVID-19 vaccines for delivery at a DHL facility

DHL delivers COVID-19 vaccines to countries in Asia Pacific
DHL delivers COVID-19 vaccines to countries in Asia Pacific

DHL has more than 9,000 life sciences and healthcare specialists across its dedicated global network to handle the complexities of vaccine deliveries
DHL has more than 9,000 life sciences and healthcare specialists across its dedicated global network to handle the complexities of vaccine deliveries

“Looking back at the state of emergency these past nine months, we are honored to be playing our part, seamlessly managing and executing multiple supply chain set-ups without cold chain interruptions or security incidents. We are working across multiple supply chain set-ups and managing direct distributions in certain countries. We implemented new, dedicated, and reliable services at an accelerated speed to ship the highly temperature-sensitive vaccines, as well as ancillary supplies and test kits. In line with our purpose of ‘Connecting people, Improving Lives’, we will continue tapping into our cold chain infrastructure, resilient global network, and deep pharmaceutical logistics knowledge and experience of our people,” says Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL.

The global vaccination campaign represents a crucial instrument in the fight against the virus, and it is essential for containing further virus variants. To reach high immunization levels, around 10 billion vaccine doses will be required worldwide by the end of 2021. The global distribution of these doses is necessary to ensure that as many people as possible have access to vaccines. Besides managing various and complex supply chain set-ups, the sensitive temperature requirements have been a major challenge for logistics experts.

“Our advantage is that we already had a sophisticated network in place with the necessary healthcare expertise. This allowed us to react swiftly,” explains Claudia Roa, President of Life Sciences & Healthcare at DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We ship the vaccines in special active thermal containers equipped with state-of-the-art GPS temperature trackers to ensure consistent temperatures and provide full transparency throughout the entire journey.”

DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Express have been tasked with transporting COVID-19 vaccines on multiple routes from Europe and other origins to countries across Asia Pacific, South America, and Europe. DHL Supply Chain is responsible for the proper storage and local distribution of the vaccines in several German states.

“We are incredibly proud to be entrusted with the logistics of delivering these vital COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries in Asia Pacific. To make it available to as many people as possible, our specialists have worked tirelessly to ensure that they arrived safely and promptly,” said Leonora Lim, Head of Life Science and Healthcare, DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation, Asia Pacific.

Essential preparation for the future

As outlined in DHL’s white paper “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience”, the logistics infrastructure and capacity built up for the pandemic should be maintained because another 7-9 billion vaccine doses will be needed annually in the coming years to keep (re-)infection rates low and to slow down the pace of virus mutations – not counting seasonal fluctuations.

To be prepared for the future, it is essential to identify and prevent health crises early through active partnerships, expanded global warning systems, an integrated epidemic prevention plan, and targeted R&D investments. DHL also recommends expanding and institutionalizing virus containment and countermeasures (e.g., digital contact tracing and national stockpiles) to ensure strategic preparedness and more efficient response times. To facilitate a speedy roll-out of medication (i.e., diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines), governments and industries should maintain “ever-warm” manufacturing capacity, blueprint research, production, and procurement plans, and expand local deployment capabilities.

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Note to editors:

More than 9,000 life sciences and healthcare specialists work across DHL’s dedicated global network. They ensure that pharmaceutical and medical device companies, clinical trials and research organizations, wholesalers and distributors, and hospitals and healthcare providers are connected across the value chain, from clinical trials to point of care, and every step in between.

DHL’s healthcare industry portfolio includes 150+ pharmacists, 20+ clinical trials depots, 100+ certified stations, 160+ GDP-qualified warehouses, 15+ GMP-certified sites, 135+ medical express sites, and a time-definite international express network covering over 220 countries and territories.

For more stories on how the logistics industry is enabling the fight against the pandemic, visit us at www.lot.dhl.com.  

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DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. Our DHL divisions offer an unrivaled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions, international express, road, air, and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With about 400,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global sustainable trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, engineering, manufacturing & energy, auto-mobility, and retail, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world”.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 66 billion euros in 2020. With sustainable business practices and a commitment to society and the environment, the Group makes a positive contribution to the world. Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to achieve zero-emissions logistics by 2050.