The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with more than 350 partners, including major airlines, shipping lines and logistics associations from around the world to deliver coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines to over 92 countries, as soon as doses become available.
“As work continues to develop Covid-19 vaccines, UNICEF is stepping up efforts with airlines, freight operators, shipping lines and other logistics associations to deliver life-saving vaccines as quickly and safely as possible,” said Etleva Kadilli, director of the UNICEF Supply Division.
The UNICEF official said the collaboration “will go a long way to ensure that enough transport capacity is in place for this historic and mammoth operation.”
To kick off preparations, UNICEF along with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) briefed major global airlines last week on the expected capacity requirements and discussed ways to transport close to 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine doses next year. This is in addition to the 1 billion syringes that need to be transported by sea-freight.
In the coming weeks, UNICEF is also assessing existing transport capacity to identify gaps and future requirements said the agency.
“The procurement, delivery, and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines is anticipated to be the largest and fastest such operation ever undertaken,” UNICEF said. SOVEREIGNPH