Pfizer turns to African drone company Zipline for covid vaccine distribution
London, June 12, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Zipline, arguably the world’s biggest drone delivery service for medical supplies, has commenced a partnership with Pfizer to test and develop an end-to-end distribution solution for Covid-19 vaccines, the firm has announced.
The firm had earlier this year revealed that they were building a delivery solution to distribute Covid-19 vaccines in countries where they operate.
The partnership will see Zipline and Pfizer test and develop an end-to-end distribution solution for Covid-19 vaccines that will among other things safely and reliably transport the doses to vaccination sites.
This is aimed at enabling rapid and equitable access to vaccines from all manufacturers in countries where Zipline operates around the world.
This is in response to the fact that many vaccines, including the Pfizer-BioNTech type, require maintaining precise cold chain temperature before being administered to patients.
This could be solved by the firm’s cold chain distribution capability, which is being developed with a leading vaccine manufacturer, will leverage Zipline’s drone delivery network to safely deliver frozen and ultra-low Covid-19 vaccines and medical products.
Earlier this year, Zipline Chief Executive Keller Rinaudo said that the intervention is tailored to ensure that one’s location doesn’t determine whether or not they get inoculated against the virus.
“We can help health systems bypass infrastructure and supply chain challenges through instant delivery,” he had said.
While the solution is yet to be rolled out in Rwanda, if and when implemented, it could increase the number of vaccination points and access points especially in rural areas.
Zipline distribution centres have capacity to operate 24 hours a day and currently make about 150 deliveries every 12 hours.