Amazon prepares to deliver 100 Million Vaccines in 100 days
As first reported by , on Wednesday in a letter sent to President Joe Biden, Amazon offered to pitch in and help him in his mission to deliver 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses within his first 100 days in office. Because who better really?
It’s no secret the Amazonian giant had a contentious relationship with former President Trump, Bezos’s ownership of the and Trump’s claims of unfair coverage wedged between them. So it no surprise that the offer came in on the same day Biden became the 46th President of the United States.
As the Biden administration is faced with a massive challenge in speeding up the vaccine rollout, a little help from the supply chain optimization king and his network of world-class facilities must be most welcome.
The world’s largest online retailer has an agreement with a healthcare provider to administer vaccines on-site at its facilities and will move forward once doses are available, Dave Clark, chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, said in the letter. He also pushed for Amazon’s essential workers, of which there are more than 800,000 to be prioritized in the vaccine rollout.
Prepared to leverage operations
“The essential employees working at Amazon fulfilment centres, AWS data centres, and Whole Foods Market stores across the country who cannot work from home should receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the earliest appropriate time. We will assist them in that effort,” said Dave Clark, Amazon's CEO of consumer business.
As of September, more than 19,000 Amazon workers had contracted the virus. Vaccination of its employees is essential to keeping them safe and keeping warehouse doors open.
Clark also added that Amazon was “prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts.”
“Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19, and we stand ready to assist you in this effort,” Clark wrote. He also stated the company was ready to leverage their “operations, information technology, and communications capabilities” in their efforts to assist Joe Biden in his mission of vaccinating 100 million Americans within his first 100 days in the White House.
Clark also congratulated President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration. But oh, didn't we all.
DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID
Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.
This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go.
With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”.
Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats.
In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.
“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”.
How Do We Sustain Immunisation?
By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”.
Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared.
Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.