Abu Dhabi’s HOPE Consortium, which offers one of the most capable and effective vaccine supply chains in the world, has extended its value proposition to include in-country vaccination services with the aim of accelerating global immunisation and eliminating vaccine wastage.

The new solution is unique in the COVID-19 immunisation space as it combines end-to-end vaccine delivery with rapid on-ground deployment of medical and logistics experts, staff and equipment. The combined service will enable countries and communities with limited medical and logistical capacities to absorb the delivered vaccine supplies and inoculate their populations safely and efficiently, with minimal disruption to operations of the local health delivery services.

The HOPE Consortium has partnered with Via Medica International Healthcare, a leading global health care provider with a strong track record in international medical support work to deliver the services. Working together, the partners are combining the HOPE Consortium’s unique end-to-end supply chain solution with Via Medica’s proven capability to deploy on-ground medical experts, immunisation management teams, and equipment.

In Africa, the partners have already begun implementing stage one of the programme, which includes assesing existing on-ground logistics and medical capabilities and infrastructure, and initial deployment of a mobile team of 15 members. The team includes doctors and nurses that work to establish local immunisation hubs needed to coordinate the administration of the vaccines, maintain patient records and track the progress of national vaccination efforts, in strict adherence to local patient privacy regulations and requirements.

In the second stage, the programme will be scaled up to include a team of up to 40 members tasked with setting-up regional vaccination centres equipped with medical equipment and supplies, storage freezers for vaccines and power generation units. Two fully equipped mobile vaccination vehicles, airlifted from Abu Dhabi, will augment the team’s reach beyond the established regional vaccination centres.

The partners are also deploying logistics experts to ensure that the sensitive vaccine supplies are stored and handled in the required storage environments, thus minimising the risk of vaccine wastage. Two additional refrigerated vehicles will support the logistical component of the effort by transporting vaccines from the hub to the immunisation spokes to provide ample vaccine supplies and maintain the momentum of the effort.

In order to “future proof” the effort, the HOPE Consortium’s team  will be training the local medical and logistical staff to ensure that local immunisation drives can continue on an efficient course.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chairman of the Executive Committee, HOPE Consortium, and Group CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “The combination of Abu Dhabi’s proximity to two-thirds of the globe and our strategic logistics capabilities, allow us to not only deliver millions of vaccines to those in need, but also make sure that every vaccine brings us closer to our collective victory against the pandemic. Through our new in-country support initiative, we recognise the needs of individual countries and, in turn, tailor our services to the capabilities of their healthcare infrastructure through a complete end-to-end solution.

“By doing so, we can manage the global supply and demand imbalances and help provide for equitable access to the vaccines for millions of people around the world. We are very pleased to be in a position to offer this additional pathway that helps bridge the emerging gap in global vaccination rates and chart a path towards a global recovery.”

Robert Sutton, Head of Logistics Cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “The launch of our in-country support service is a recognition that delivering vaccines alone is simply not enough, and that we need to go one step further. While the global community stands united in our common need for the vaccines, many parts of the world may not have the capacity nor expertise to absorb these sensitive supplies safely and efficiently. This leads to potential vaccine wastage which is a major problem at a time when the global demand greatly outstrips the global supply. This is why together with our partners at Via Medica, the HOPE Consortium is working closely with countries and communities on-ground to deliver a sustainable immunisation solution that ensures that every vaccine delivered is a vaccine administered.

“The introduction of the service is a clear demonstration of our commitment and capability to deploy our resources rapidly and develop a coordinated, collaborative and scalable model that will help inoculate those in need regardless of where in the world they may find themselves. We look forward to working with other partners, countries and communities in delivering on our common goal of mass and equitable global immunisation.”

Frank Ludick, CEO-International of Via Medica, said: “Since the emergence of COVID-19, Via Medica has been at the forefront of the global battle against the pandemic, deploying multiple mobile vaccination teams across Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Via Medica has been instrumental in supporting various governments and private sector companies with the provision of turnkey solutions, from serological testing to onsite mass RT-PCR swabbing and testing, combined with onsite COVID-19 vaccinations.

“We are pleased of our partnership with the HOPE Consortium and to bring our expertise and innovations to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We aim to counter the risks associated with a pandemic like COVID-19 through our  rapid medical deployment teams, in-country temperature control procedures, and robust and integrated IT systems. Combining the Hope Consortium’s unique logistical capabilities and geographical proximity to 3.6 billion people, with Via Medica’s capabilities as a last mile provider, we are mitigating potential vaccine spoilage and ensuring that vital vaccine supplies can reach the global community in the time of need.”

The HOPE Consortium is a public-private partnership that has evolved into a leading international effort, broadening its global transport and delivery  of all kinds of vaccines capabilities by attracting new partners including Agility, Aramex, Bolloré Logistics, CEVA Logistics, DB Schenker, DHL, FedEx Express, Expeditors, Hellmann, Kuehne + Nagel, MICCORSA Global, UPS, and Via Medica.