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Covid vaccine breakthrough but logistics challenge looms

10 November 2020

It’s encouraging news that Pfizer and its partner have made progress on developing a Covid vaccine. But as DHL predicted in Handling & Storage solutions a few months ago, the logistical challenges of an RNA-based vaccine are enormous.

The benefit of using RNA as a platform for the vaccine is speed, the process can be accomplished faster than by using a conventional platform.

The downside is lack of stability. This means the vaccine has to be stored and transported at below -80 deg C.

A cold chain infrastructure robust enough to support this is a big ask in the developed world, and perhaps impossible in the developing world.

You can read DHL’s analysis here.

The logistics challenge essentially becomes a development challenge, especially for the geographical South. Widespread investment would be needed to ensure developing countries could use the vaccine. That said, such an infrastructure investment would have huge benefits, long after Covid is a distant memory. Read more here.


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