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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Flying in Tandem for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

PMPS: In creating a consortium to assist in COVID-19 vaccine distribution, what expertise and skills have you gained that other countries around the world can learn from?

Martin Drew: A key learning has been in the effectiveness of collaborative efforts and success of the continued working relationship with Etihad Cargo’s partners during this pandemic. This is what the HOPE Consortium represents. It has brought together key Abu Dhabi and global stakeholders with a leading technologyled supply chain platform on a scale that has not previously been seen, to deliver COVID-19 vaccines safely and efficiently around the world for the protection of all of humanity.

What are the key challenges to overcome in vaccine distribution?

Ensuring supply chain integrity has been a key consideration, especially given the specific handling and storage requirements for each of the vaccines. Etihad Cargo’s IATA CEIV pharma-certified product PharmaLife adheres to the stringent international standards, including IATA’s Temperature Control Regulations, GDP best practices, and other international benchmarks.

There are further challenges that, as a consortium, we are addressing. These include aircraft capacity limitations for dry ice, and streamlining measurement units from the number of vials or doses used by shippers to equate to the capacity volume for carrying and storing. This is vital to ensure volume expectations are met.

What are the three most important areas of improvement in logistics that have been facilitated by the COVID-19 pandemic?

The three main areas that have improved across the logistics sector have been networks, quality management, and product development.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Etihad Cargo has remained agile to adapt our network to accommodate global demand – whether though the introduction or increase of flights or providing charter services. This remains true with the global distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. Etihad Cargo’s dedicated charter desk works with the carrier’s partners to provide solutions across full and passenger freighter options.

The compliancy and integrity of these products remains even more vital in the supply chain, and through collaboration with Validaide and key stakeholders, Etihad Cargo has ensured a consistent process of quality management to provide convenient digital access to important and detailed information on pharma station capabilities, in addition to managing compliancy levels. Etihad Cargo now offers more than 1,050 GDP/CEIV pharma-compliant trade lanes across the globe.

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The HOPE Consortium of global partners represents a complete supply chain solution providing transport, storage, handling, demand planning, sourcing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines throughout the world.
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