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DHL Starts International COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

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New Zealand, 16 December 2020: DHL, the leading global brand in the logistics industry starts the international distribution of COVID-19 vaccine. For the provision of its citizens the government of Israel received the first batch of the vaccine with flights operated by DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding last week. The first DHL Express aircraft touched down at the Ben-Gurion International Airport Tel Aviv last Wednesday morning and was received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. DHL Global Forwarding, the international freight specialist arm of Deutsche Post DHL Group, also dedicated a charter flight for additional supplies of vaccine doses, which arrived at the Ben-Gurion airport on December 10, at 3.00 PM local time – with more to follow.

“After numerous month of preparation we are happy that our mission of vaccine distribution has now started and we could contribute our logistics expertise and capabilities to make vaccine accessible worldwide”, says Travis Cobb, Head of Global Network Operations and Aviation at DHL Express. “The current crisis has shown how indispensable international logistics networks are for ensuring that societies have the necessary personal protective equipment and test kits to secure their health. Now we are embarking on the next step in our common fight against the coronavirus. Our teams across 220 countries and territories and our global network as the backbone of cross-border Express logistics is ready – to deliver anytime and anywhere.”

“The development of a Coronavirus vaccine is a silver lining and we are proud to play an active role as the most global logistics provider in bringing this silver lining to people. With our extensive logistics expertise in the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector paired with the commitment and passion of our people we want to play our part in making the Corona pandemic history. That’s the purpose of Deutsche Post DHL Group – connecting people and improving lives”, states Thomas Mack, Head of Global Airfreight, DHL Global Forwarding.

In addition to the first flights to Israel, DHL is preparing to carry out further flights in December with vaccines from its worldwide operating hubs.

More than 9,000 specialists work across DHL’s dedicated global network so that pharmaceutical, medical devices, clinical trials and research organizations, wholesalers and distributors, as well as hospitals and healthcare providers are connected across the value chain and through digitalization, from clinical trials to point of care, and every step in between.

DHL’s portfolio for the healthcare industry includes 150+ pharmacists, 20+ clinical trials depots, 100+ certified stations, 160+ GDP-qualified warehouses, 15+ GMP-certified sites, 135+ medical express sites, and a time-definite international express network covering 220 countries and territories.

On a global scale logistics providers are challenged to establish medical supply chain rapidly to deliver vaccines of unprecedented amount of more than 10bn doses worldwide – also in regions with less developed logistics infrastructures, where ~3bn people live. To provide global coverage of the next two years, up to 200k pallet shippers and 15m cooling boxes as well as 15k flights will be required across the various supply chain setups.

With an aircraft fleet of more than 260 dedicated planes, numerous partner airlines and a hub and gateway network spanning more than 220 countries and territories DHL is optimally equipped and prepared for a worldwide supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

With vaccines historically developed over a timeline of 5~20 years, the accelerated process of COVID-19 within one year is unprecedented. As COVID-19 vaccines have leapfrogged development phases, stringent temperature requirements (up to -80°C) are likely to be imposed for certain vaccines to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccines during transportation and warehousing.

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