One Year into COVID -19 - Lessons & Precautions

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The COVID-19 outbreak has been one of the biggest public health emergencies the world has seen in 100 years. The disruptions it has caused have not only affected the air cargo sector but every aspect of society and businesses at large. In fact, governments of many countries are running against time to vaccinate their citizens so that day-to-day activities can return to a state of normal functioning. And as of May 2021, Israel is one of the first countries to have vaccinated majority of its population.

As the world attempts to move beyond the multiple waves of the epidemic, countries are looking forward to opening international borders as well. This will help the global economy to resuscitate. And a way of doing that is to make sure all nations are able to meet the demand for the required number of vaccine doses for their citizens since vaccinated populations can break the chain and travel without COVID-19 related restrictions.

In that light, IATA states that “accepting vaccinated passengers should be the best practise to reopen borders. In cases where vaccination is not possible, access to quarantine-free travel should be provided through COVID-19 testing strategies based on widely available, free-of-charge tests.” Germany is one such country that has alleviated quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers. This is an indicator that while we are not at the finish line yet, countries are working hard towards achieving normalcy.

It’s already been one year into the COVID-19 pandemic and it has taught many countries across the globe many great lessons. To understand this, DHL Express has released a whitepaper, titled, “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience”, in which it has explained what those learnings are in depth. 

Vital lessons from one year into COVID-19

2020 was a tough year that brought with itself indomitable challenges. Despite that, we have been able to learn and understand the importance of research and development as well as production and supply chain management. Acting in line with these lessons will help us overcome this humanitarian crisis, and be prepared for any public health emergency that might hit us in the future.

Here is what the DHL Express whitepaper, “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” has observed:

  • Research and development helped in the creation of COVID-19 vaccine 5X faster than any other in history. 

    By ramping up the production, vaccine developers have launched over 100 vaccine production facilities globally, thus quadrupling the total vaccine production capacity in record time. Additionally, logistics and supply chain have played a crucial role in distributing lifesaving vaccines to patients 3x times faster than usual. In fact, extreme cold-chain requirements of up to -70°C were seamlessly met at scale and also expanded by 50 percent in a single year.
  • Accelerating vaccination drives in countries across the globe will help in achieving immunization by the end of 2021.

    But, so far only four countries have achieved over 50% of vaccination rates, leaving the countries with poor infrastructure in a state of crisis. Thus, to ensure a seamless rollout of vaccines globally and efficiently, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on the following four areas:

    Strong partnerships across countries
    • All industries, sectors and nations must collaborate and form strong partnerships to prepare and be ready to manage the next, unforeseen public health event by grasping on strong supportive data analysis.

    Secured inbound supply flows
    • Since more than 95% of global COVID-19 vaccine doses are developed in just eight countries, a greater need to distribute them worldwide stays highly imperative. To do that the supply chain management must be smooth and agile, allowing vaccines to be transported and packaged effectively without any hassle.

    Locally tailored last-mile, ground distribution models
    • Creating last-mile, ground distribution services will help in rolling out about 10 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021. For that, they have to be effectively delivered from the airport to the patients by setting up warehouses at strategic locations, synchronising the inflow and outflow of vaccines and ancillaries along with the storage facilities specific to the local area.

    Maximise demand for vaccines
    • And last but not the least, to achieve the maximum levels of immunisation and increase the demand for vaccines, emphasis must be laid on educating the public, creating a user-friendly process, and providing incentives by convincing last movers.
  • In the post pandemic-peak plan, it is important to vaccinate the entire population globally and ensure that their immunisation is sustained in the coming years.

    It is necessary to keep around 7 - 9 billion doses of vaccine annually in 2022 and 2023 to keep the (re-) infection rates low and decrease the pace of virus mutations. This can be achieved by preparing for more patient and vaccine volumes, maintaining the logistics infrastructure and capacity, and planning for seasonal fluctuations through stable vaccine platforms for the years to come.
  • Preparing for the next public health emergency will help the world deal with such adversaries in a better way.

    Therefore, stakeholders should take key actions in the following three areas:  
    • Plan for a strong pandemic-prevention agenda, look for early identification and prevention steps through active partnerships, extensive global warning systems and invest in research and development.
    • Create more virus containment and countermeasures such as early warning systems, to ensure strategic preparedness and a faster response time in the future.
    • Since respiratory viruses are prone to pandemic spread, both public and non-governmental entities will have to facilitate a quick rollout of medication such as diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines to save lives in the next outbreak.

How will DHL Express help you prepare for it?

Good logistics and supply chain management have ensured the availability and dispersion of medicines and medical supplies, such as treatments, vaccines, ancillary stocks, test kits, and personal protective equipment in this pandemic.

DHL Express, a trusted partner for COVID-19 vaccine logistics, has distributed over 200 million doses of all approved vaccines across over 120 countries. Our in-house team of international specialists carries in-depth experience in handling medical shipments and clearing them off customs duties. Not only that, our Medical Express (WMX) service is extremely patient-centric and transports all medical and pharmaceutical products under controlled temperatures with a door-to-door visibility.

With more than 350 DHL facilities and over 9,000 flights deployed to deliver the vaccines worldwide, DHL Express helps in maintaining the efficacy of the supply chain through speed, safety and real-time traceability. Even now, DHL Express continues to serve multiple lanes out of Europe and other places of origin for transporting COVID-19 vaccines.

The recently published DHL whitepaper on “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” provides comprehensive insights into what the logistics sector has learned from this race against COVID-19 how they can build a reliable supply chain to handle public health crises in the future.

If you are curious to know more about our services and involvements towards global vaccine distribution, read more about it!

Download the Whitepaper Here

One Year Into COVID-19 Revisiting Pandemic Resilience; Download the Whitepaper here

Download the Whitepaper Here
Download the Whitepaper Here