What does facilitating and accelerating equitable COVID19 vaccine delivery around the world look like? Daniel Gagnon, vice president of Marketing and Strategy, discusses in Express Pharma how UPS Healthcare will continue to support developing countries’ overall healthcare  and infrastructure, ensuring they are better equipped to manage biologically-derived drugs and therapies for decades to come.


Having surpassed the 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines delivery milestone in December, Daniel Gagnon, Vice President, Marketing Execution, UPS Healthcare explains to Viveka Roychowdhury how UPS will continue to support developing countries’ overall healthcare infrastructure, ensuring they are better equipped to manage biologically derived drug and therapies for decades to come

UPS delivered a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses in December. How has the company ensured safe and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, given that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the gaps in the pharma/vaccine cold chain ecosystem of many countries, India included? While donations of deep freezers might plug some gaps in the short term, what is the longer term solution? 

Global success for vaccine deliveries is about collaborations and mobilising the right partnerships. For vaccine deliveries our focus continues to be working closely with key stakeholders and leveraging our global smart logistics network to ensure the integrity of the package.

The last two years shine a light on the power of UPS Healthcare’s- global network and capabilities. We continue to build upon this network to serve the complex needs of pharmaceutical products, medical devices, drugs that are time sensitive, sterile and have specific temperature-controlled transportation requirements. Our expertise in healthcare logistics is further strengthened with Marken, a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS Healthcare that supports the clinical trial sector and more.

The COVID-19 vaccine is the one of the most fragile, biologically derived sterile products and requires a specific temperature controlled cold chain network. We worked together with the manufacturers, ministries, governments, supply chain vendors, to name a few, to support sensitive vaccine transportation requirements. Working side by side with the manufacturers, we devised plans and the right solutions that enabled us to deliver the vaccines to the right place, at the right time and at the right temperature. It was a collaborative effort, throughout the supply chain, that made it one of the most efficient logistics operations.

Technology played a huge role to ensure safe and equitable distribution of one billion vaccines, just one year after the first vaccine was delivered by UPS. We leveraged our one-of-kind  UPS Premier tracking technologies, industry-leading cold chain solutions, and an expansive, sophisticated, global network providing UPS Healthcare services to customers and communities around the world. It allowed us to achieve 99.9 per cent on-time delivery to more than 110 countries to support the ongoing fight against the global pandemic.

The UPS Foundation connected with partners such as GAVI, World Food Program, and other agencies like the Africa CDC, PAHO, Asian Development Bank to share UPS capabilities, freezer farms, dry ice capabilities, and offer assistance for vaccine distribution. The UPS Foundation and UPS Healthcare supported equitable delivery programme and sustainable global supply chain of COVID-19 vaccines. We partnered with GAVI and other organisations to train and manage ultra-cold vaccine movement in COVAX nations, supporting COVID relief and healthcare infrastructure moving forward. We also have embedded logistics experts into countries like Indonesia and Malawi to fully manage logistics of vaccine distribution.

Read more about how the vaccine equity initiative has supported 18 countries across five continents.