MASkargo and DHL deliver the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to Malaysia door-to-door in three days. Upon arrival the vaccines were then sent directly to designated facilities across Kuala Lumpur.
Over 300,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine were transported via MASkargo’s passenger-to-cargo (P2C) flight utilising A330-300 aircraft in close collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Health, Pfizer and DHL Express.
The vaccine was delivered in specially designed thermal shipper packaging customised by the manufacturer. Each shipment was packed with dry ice to regulate the temperature, enabling its use in locations that lack the physical infrastructure to otherwise maintain the required temperature.
Temperature trackers equipped with sophisticated GPS technology are also packed within each thermal shipper box to provide full visibility throughout the shipment’s entire journey.
Captain Izham Ismail, chief executive officer Malaysia Aviation Group says: “We are proud to be able to serve the country in this very important mission, as Malaysians and residents look forward to receive their dosage under the national vaccination programme.
“Being the country’s national carrier, we take this responsibility of transporting the vaccines very seriously, as the success of the vaccination programme is key in helping the country achieve economic and financial recovery.”
Despite being experienced in handling time and temperature-sensitive items, Izham says the carrier still worked hard at preparing for the highly complex and demanding task to ensure seamless end-to-end execution. “Our skilled workforce and adequate infrastructure are vital points in ensuring the safe, secure and hygienic handling, transportation and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to Malaysia or any part of the world,” he adds.
MASkargo’s preparations included conducting live simulations and dry runs during its international and domestic scheduled flights in preparation for the various types of vaccine, each of which has different logistic requirements.
Ken Lee, CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific notes that in the past year, DHL teams across the world have come together to deliver personal protective equipment, medical necessities and daily essentials to communities in need.
“We have now come full circle to elevate our purpose of connecting people and improving lives with the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccines to countries everywhere including the very first of shipments to Middle East, and now to Malaysia,” Lee says.
“We are proud to have the opportunity to make a difference and I can assure you that no effort is spared in ensuring that our well-established DHL Medical Express solution adhere to the stringent requirements of speed, quality, security and reliability when it comes to transporting these precious cargo,” he adds.
“As COVID-19 continues to devastate lives and livelihoods, the vaccines represent hope for a better 2021,” says Julian Neo, managing director of DHL Express Malaysia and Brunei.
“Organising their distribution to so many people in such a short time will be an extremely complex operation that we are well-equipped and proud to contribute to. Since the onset of the pandemic, DHL Express has leveraged our broad experience and expertise to help maintain the integrity of the healthcare supply chain, ensuring vital supplies and protective equipment reach communities and medical stakeholders in need,” Neo adds.
On a global scale, logistics providers are challenged to establish medical supply chain rapidly to deliver vaccines of unprecedented amount of more than 10 billion doses worldwide—also in regions with less developed logistics infrastructures, where approximately three billion people live.
To provide global coverage over the next two years, DHL estimated in its vaccine logistics whitepaper that up to 200,000 pallet shippers and 15 million cooling boxes as well as 15,000 flights will be required across the various supply chain setups.