DHL starts international Covid-19 vaccine distribution

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DHL starts the international distribution of Covid-19 vaccine. For the provision of its citizens the government of Israel received the first batch of the vaccine with flights operated by DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding last week. The first aircraft touched down at the Ben-Gurion International Airport Tel Aviv on December 9 morning 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 Ben-Gurion airport on December 10, at 3 pm local time - with more to follow.

"After numerous months of preparation we are happy that our mission of vaccine distribution has now started and we could contribute our logistics expertise and capabilities to make vaccine accessible worldwide," says Travis Cobb, head of Global Network Operations and Aviation at DHL Express. He adds, "The current crisis has shown how indispensable international logistics networks are for ensuring that societies have the necessary personal protective equipment and test kits to secure their health. Now we are embarking on the next step in our common fight against the coronavirus. Our teams across 220 countries and territories and our global network as the backbone of cross-border Express logistics is ready - to deliver anytime and anywhere."

"The development of a Coronavirus vaccine is a silver lining and we are proud to play an active role as the most global logistics provider in bringing this silver lining to people. With our extensive logistics expertise in the life sciences and healthcare sector paired with the commitment and passion of our people we want to play our part in making the Corona pandemic history. That's the purpose of Deutsche Post DHL Group - connecting people and improving lives," states Thomas Mack, head of Global Airfreight, DHL Global Forwarding.


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.

More than 9,000 specialists work across DHL's dedicated global network so that pharmaceutical, medical devices, clinical trials and research organisations, wholesalers and distributors, as well as hospitals and healthcare providers are connected across the value chain and through digitalization, from clinical trials to point of care, and every step in between. 

DHL's portfolio for the healthcare industry includes more than 150 pharmacists, 20 clinical trials depots, 100 certified stations, 160 GDP-qualified warehouses, 15 GMP-certified sites and 135 medical express sites collectively. 

With an aircraft fleet of more than 260 dedicated planes, numerous partner airlines and a hub and gateway network spanning more than 220 countries and territories DHL is optimally equipped and prepared for a worldwide supply of Covid-19 vaccines.

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 3 billion people live. To provide global coverage of 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.

With vaccines historically developed over a timeline of 5~20 years, the accelerated process of Covid-19 within one year is unprecedented. As vaccines have leapfrogged development phases, stringent temperature requirements (up to -80°C) are likely to be imposed for certain vaccines to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccines during transportation and warehousing.

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