Foreign consortium planning to supply Covid-19 vaccines to Pakistan

To meet the prevailing shortage of vaccine in Pakistan, the authorities are working on different options, including talks with various countries and operators to inoculate the remaining 80 million citizens in Pakistan. One of the operators is the Abu-Dhabi-based HOPE Consortium, which plans to provide supply vaccines of different producers to Pakistan.

Speaking to a group of journalists at a virtual press roundtable, Dr Omar Najim, Executive Director Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, said that HOPE Consortium is working with Pakistan authorities responsible for vaccination program at the national level to provide logistic support and the last mile solutions to ensure that vaccines supplies to the centres.

Pakistan is contracted with COVAX, a global body bringing equitable access of vaccines to various countries worldwide on purchasing vaccines of different brands. With HOPE Consortium plugs in, we will ensure timely delivery of vaccines from the manufacturing companies to anywhere in the country, he added.

Pakistan is presently facing a shortage of vaccines in various cities as the supplies at major hospitals and centres have been exhausted in the rapid response of immunization drive by the general public.

The country has administered 20 million COVID-19 vaccines so far, with a planned vaccination of over 100 million people by July 2022. However, the shortage of supplies at the vaccination centre could be attributed to the lack of tracking facility of the vaccination process, enhanced storage facilities, and weak coordination and disruption among the departments.

Countries from different populations and economies, whether they are categorized as developed or developing countries, face various common challenges such as temperature, distribution, capacity, and storage challenges, said Robert Suttan, Head of Abu Dhabi Ports Logistics Clusters.

HOPE will work with partners in Pakistan to develop systems including central storage systems extending digital supply chain solutions capability while providing a ground facility system. The group can provide medical staff, including doctors and nurses, instruments, PPE, and vaccines based on the particular requirement, he added.

The region needs an estimated 2 billion vaccine doses, but the capability and capacity to store quantities are in thousands. This is where HOPE Consortium will provide technical support, ensuring timely delivery of vaccines at a regulated price. Our role is to ensure the end-to-end supply chain in collaboration with local and global partners.

Many countries in the world, including Pakistan, face few challenges in terms of their geography, temperature, volume, and penetration. So we need to go to the communities in remote points to make sure that everyone is vaccinated. And this is something that cannot be done in isolation but with collaboration. So HOPE Consortium is working to extend its value chain to provide vaccines to people across the globe at the lowest rates at the fastest possible time.

HOPE Consortium has handled over 27 million vaccines across 31countries so far, including those in the MENA Region, Asia, Africa, Europe and the CIS.

Other speakers also highlighted the importance of a safe immunization process by using modern available systems and technology for the rapid vaccination drive to prevent masses from the deadly pandemic and its related socio-economic fallouts.

The Hope Consortium is a manifestation of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to the global battle against the pandemic. It has been formed by six founding partners, the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Cargo, Rafed, Skycell and Maqta Gateway.

The partners, which are industry leaders within their sectors, have come together to leverage their unique capabilities to offer the world a complete end-to-end vaccine delivery solution covering both the physical movement of the vaccines in parallel with a digital solution monitoring and reporting on the supply chain progress and compliance.

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