The Australian Government has signed contracts with DHL and Linfox to undertake COVID-19 vaccine distribution to all Australians from March this year.
DHL Supply Chain and Linfox will work with the Department of Health to design and operate a national distribution network. They will support vaccination for all, including people in rural, remote and very remote areas and others who are hard to reach.
They will also be required to track and report the temperature of the vaccine at all times. The required temperature could be 2 to 8 degrees (standard cold chain temperatures) to as low as minus 70, which is needed for the Pfizer vaccine.
Purpose built dry ice containers will be supplied for moving the Pfizer vaccine around Australia, as part of the Government’s global distribution deal with Pfizer.
As well as transporting the vaccines from the point of acceptance from manufacturers to vaccination administration sites, the logistics partners will be responsible for transport and management of vaccination supplies such as needles, syringes, and personal protective equipment.
“I am pleased that DHL Supply Chain are able to support the Australian Government in this critical project. DHL Supply Chain has a number of cold chain and frozen storage facilities across Australia that are well placed to gear up and support the Government’s vaccination program. We also have a deep know-how of pharmaceutical and temperature controlled logistics for the healthcare industry. Vaccine distribution in Australia has a unique set of challenges due to the country’s geography and warm temperatures, meaning quality control and compliance is critical for storage, transportation, final-mile delivery and end-to-end visibility of the supply chain,” Saul Resnick, CEO of DHL Supply Chain Australia.
In addition to distribution and logistics, the Australian Government will partner with Accenture, who will provide tracking of vaccine doses as well as enabling overall program implementation monitoring and PwC who will be the Department of Health’s Program Delivery Partner for the vaccine rollout.
The Australian Government states it remains on track for first vaccinations in March, and completion of whole of population in 2021.