DHL Has Now Ferried Over 1 Billion Vaccines Around The World

Logistics company DHL has now shipped over one billion vaccines to more than 160 countries since December 2020. DHL has stated that around 10 billion vaccine doses will be needed worldwide by the end of 2021 and that 7-9 billion doses will be necessary each year to fight the virus.

DHL Air Boeing 757 Cargo Plane At Thessaloniki Airport
DHL has transported over a billion vaccines around the world in the past 9 months. Photo: Getty Images

One billion vaccine doses since December 2020

DHL, one of the world’s leading logistical firms, has transported over one billion vaccines to more than 160 countries since December 2020. The company has played a key part in the global vaccination rollout, drawing upon its logistical expertise to transport temperature-sensitive vaccines across the world.

Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer at DHL, said,

“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.”

DHL has accomplished the feat with the help of “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.

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The company has used state-of-the-art tech to store and ship temperature-sensitive vaccines. Photo: DHL

DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Express have transported COVID-19 vaccines from Europe and other origins across Asia-Pacific, South America and Europe. The company notes that the sensitive temperature requirements have been a particular challenge to overcome, not to mention managing the complex supply chain.

Busch added,

“We will continue tapping into our cold chain infrastructure, resilient global network, and deep pharmaceutical logistics knowledge and experience of our people.”

Maintaining the supply chain

In DHL’s ‘Revisiting Pandemic Resilience’ white paper, the company estimates that 7-9 billion vaccine doses will be required annually to keep COVID-19 at bay. As such, DHL recommends that the logistical infrastructure developed for vaccines should be maintained in an “ever-warm” state for the foreseeable future.

DHL said in a statement,

“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.”

DHL European air Transport Boeing 757-200 freighter with
DHL believes vaccine distribution infrastructure should remain in place for the foreseeable future. Photo: Getty Images

The company also recommends “expanding and institutionalizing virus containment and countermeasures,” which would entail practices such as national stockpiles and digital contact tracing.

Claudia Roa, President of Life Sciences and Healthcare at DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation, said,

“Our advantage is that we already had a sophisticated network in place with the necessary healthcare expertise. This allowed us to react swiftly.”

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10 billion vaccine doses needed by the end of 2021

DHL has stated that around 10 billion vaccine doses will be required worldwide by the end of the year. High immunization rates will be necessary to prevent further virus variants from emerging and help save lives.

Thomas Ellmann, Vice President of Life Sciences and Healthcare at DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation, said,

“Making a meaningful difference is what drives us, and we are proud of our contribution to the enormous task of delivering COVID-19 vaccines and related critical medical supplies to the right place at the right time, worldwide.”

DHL Airbus A-300 Cargo Airplane
DHL is aiming for broader vaccination coverage across the world. Photo: Getty Images

The company also adds that global distribution is vital to ensure that as many people as possible can get vaccinated. Vaccination rates in first-world countries are considerably higher compared to other parts of the world.

Do you agree with DHL’s assessment that 7-9 billion vaccine doses will be needed each year? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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