As part of its leading effort to fight against the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Dubai has launched the Vaccine Logistics Alliance (VLA) to speed up distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world through the emirate. The new development is being executed under the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
In support of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVAX initiative and its efforts to equitably distribute two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, the Dubai VLA combines the expertise and global reach of Emirates airline with DP World’s worldwide network of ports and logistics operations, along with the infrastructure of Dubai Airports and International Humanitarian City to distribute vaccines worldwide.
The distribution will particularly focus on emerging markets, where populations have been hard-hit by the pandemic, and pharmaceutical transport and logistics are challenging. The alliance is working with a broader set of stakeholders including pharmaceutical manufacturers, forwarders, government agencies and other entities for transportation of vaccines.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group said: “We currently stand at the cusp of a historic moment with the roll-out of vaccines for countering COVID-19, a pandemic that has disrupted the lives of people around the world.
“Each alliance partner brings to the table a specific and complementary set of strengths and capabilities in vaccine distribution, allowing us to build a 360-degree solution. Together, we are able to store a large volume of vaccine doses at a time and bring in and distribute vaccines to any point around the world within 48 hours.”
International Humanitarian City, the world’s largest hub for humanitarian logistics based in Dubai will be a vital partner in the Dubai VLA bringing its vast expertise in humanitarian logistics for aid materials such as food and medicine in markets with limited infrastructure. IHC and Emirates SkyCargo have already partnered on many humanitarian cargo flights and earlier in 2020, also signed an MoU for closer collaboration for humanitarian assistance flights.
HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, the Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of International Humanitarian City, said: “Since the current global crisis began, the IHC has facilitated the distribution of over 80% of the WHO’s global medical response in the fight against COVID-19. Dubai will make sure this fight continues with the Vaccine Logistics Alliance transporting urgently needed vaccines and medical supplies to the most vulnerable communities across the world, when they need it most. We are all responsible for doing what we can to end this pandemic.”
Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), will be contributing to the efforts of the newly formed Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance by providing additional space at dedicated facilities at Dubai International (DXB). The repurposed cargo facilities will act as storage for COVID-19 vaccines that will be transported through its interlinked operations at DXB and DWC.