As a result of COVID-19, health supply chains, including cold chain, are under incredible strain due to global, regional and local transport disruptions. Flight cancellations and trade restrictions by countries, as well as closing borders, have severely constrained access to essential medicines, including vaccines.
Beginning 2021, the world will experience the largest mass vaccination campaign in its history with forecasted demand of up to 15 billion (at two doses per person) vaccinations by 2023. Delivering multiple new and novel vaccine candidates of varying profiles will further strain limited cold chain capacities in low-income countries. In these settings, vaccination campaigns will be unlike that of routine childhood or flu vaccinations; vaccines will have to be secured, stored and transported to areas where cold chain challenges persist. It is anticipated that cold chain logistics and capacity needs will demand an increase significantly greater than the current level of investment. A global effort to establish and sustain health supply chains to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine, auxiliary commodities and, new cold chain equipment when it becomes available, whilst maintaining program continuity is needed. This urgent requirement will prompt a re-think of how development partners respond to the current cold chain transportation eco-system for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. This panel discussion will address plans and programs to build robust in-country logistics / distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. We feature thought leaders from global agencies as well as learn from in-country experts.
- Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Deputy Director, Africa CDC
- Shamit Shah, Group Managing Director - Freight in Time
- Karan Sagar, Senior Specialist Immunization Program, GAVI
- Alvaro Villanueva, Senior Supply Chain Specialist, WFP
- Dr. Anban Pillay, Deputy Director General at National Department of Health, South Africa
- Dr. Felix Sayinzoga, Division Manager, Ministry of Health, Rwanda
- (Tentative) Country representations from India and Brazil
- Prof. Ravi Anupindi, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, USA
- Hitesh Hurkchand, Senior Advisor Supply Chain, World Food Programme