The race is now on to develop, test and manufacture an effective COVID-19 vaccine and to distribute it globally. The vaccine will have to reach the world’s population and meet global health and economic goals, while minimising environmental impact. Universal vaccine access is of particular concern in low-income countries. The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF) has begun exploring the scale of the challenge involved in distributing temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccine in Bangladesh. The Centre has taken a new approach to assessing, re-engineering and building upon available logistics assets and systems. This will help engineer an efficient and sustainable delivery mechanism for an eventual COVID-19 vaccine to be deployed through resilient and sustainable health cold-chain systems.
The collaborative effort between Heriot Watt University and Birmingham University is designed to help overcome this logistical challenge sustainably and create a logistics model suitable for global adoption. The team will develop a short to medium-term crisis exit solution, aimed at delivering a COVID-19 vaccine in a safe, efficient, clean and temperature-controlled manner, while still maintaining routine vaccine deliveries. They will do this by evaluating capacity and preparedness of the Bangladesh vaccine cold chain and understanding complementary temperature management services and sustainable cooling technologies.
Meeting these requirements while investigating the logistics involved in distributing a temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccine is a complex task. In this project, an opportunity exists to set an example to the world about how a country and its distribution systems can be ready for the day when a vaccine becomes available.
If this is an area of research which interests you, please contact Associate Professor Bing Xu. B.Xu@hw.ac.uk