Dominating the past year’s news has been the pandemic, mainly about the social distancing and lock-down regimes in various countries, but also the heralded way out of the Covid nightmare has been the development of vaccines that will mitigate the viral effects.
Those vaccines were delivered in record time and have been disseminated amongst the populations of a few countries, either by truck directly from the manufacturing centres or by air for speed of delivery. This has been particularly true of the Pfizer BionTech vaccine which was the first to be approved in the US and UK and, reportedly, has a shorter shelf life than other vaccines.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners has already established the COVAX organisation to help spread vaccines to more broadly around the globe, at the last count some 38 million doses of vaccine had been delivered to more than 100 countries, with the understanding that there must be a global spread of the medicine in order to be certain that Covid-19 can be finally beaten.
COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi which is a global vaccine alliance established in 2000, and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner UNICEF. “Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world,” said the organisation.
We are about to enter that phase of the vaccine role out where COVAX will broaden its ocean supply chain reach to deliver the medicines necessary. Of course the logistics involved in delivering a vaccination supply chain does not merely include moving the serum from the manufacturing base to its point of delivery. Other elements are required including syringes, personal protective equipment (PPE), track and testing systems as well as all the administrative requirements necessary to meet the requirements of a comprehensive vaccination programme.
Moving the medicines and the accoutrements to the places where they are needed is one thing, but before that point comes the legal administrative system that is included in the role out of a vaccination programme.
Law firm Holman Fenwick and Willan (HFW) has been advising the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) Foundation on a three-way deal to acquire and ship 7 million Covid-19 vaccine doses manufactured by Moderna.
HFW said it has offered advice “On the complex contractual chain, which involved multiple agreements for the purchase of the vaccines, the ordering and allocation of vaccines to the members of the consortium, and the logistics services to get the vaccines into the Philippines.”
Apart from the ICTSI Foundation and Moderna Zuellig Pharma, was the third member of the group that will organise the transport and storage of the vaccine, which requires reefer containers to transport the vaccine at around -20degs C.
Those vaccines will then be distributed among 300 private sector organisations within the Philippines. Craig Neame, Partner, HFW, will be giving a talk at the Containing Covid-19 seminar, jointly organised Cool Logistics and Container News, which will take place on 15 April, bringing together, regulators, carriers, port operators, logistics professionals and political figures to discuss the role out of the global ocean logistics operation.
In addition there will a discussion on the theft and counterfeiting programmes that organised crime has developed and the challenges that come from the underworld of crime, discussed by Mike Yarwood, Managing Director Loss Prevention, at the TT Club.
Furthermore, Hristo Petkov, Global Vertical Head of Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, A.P. Moller-Maersk, will also analyse the requirements for the role out from a carrier’s perspective.
Tracking and monitoring the medicines while on board deepsea vessels will also play a critical role, with the use of the Internet of Things technology which will ensure that vaccines reach patients fresh and ready to use, with Al Tama, Vice President and General Manager Container and Port Solutions from the main sponsor of the seminar, Orbcomm, shedding light on how IoT and satellite technology will allow that monitoring process to be handled in real time.
PSA International, another seminar sponsor, will discuss the role that ports will play in the vaccine supply chain with Siddharth Adya, Vice President Group Cargo Solutions and Platform Development, giving his views on the issues.
Moreover, the seminar will explore the role that workers within the supply chain have played, and the responses from governments around the world to the risks these workers have taken to make certain that supply chains keep moving. Included in this list are the port workers in the US that have contracted Covid-19, which has seen shortages of labour at the ports, contributing to the congestion at US ports. Federal Maritime Commissioner Carl Bentzel will offer his views on the matter.
Moreover, the International Chamber of Shipping will represent views of the crews, with Vassilios Demetriades, Shipping Deputy Minister to the President, Republic of Cyprus discussing why Cyprus felt the need to establish a foundation to support crew.
The line up for the day’s seminar continues with other speakers including DHL and the World Economic Forum also included in the line-up.
Spaces at the seminar are going fast, and with a networking forum at the site the options to meet and discuss in private will also be available to attendees. Please register below to make certain of your place.