Pfizer, BioNTech and Zipline partner to deliver COVID-19 vaccines using drones in Ghana

The trio plan to use technology to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to all corners of the world.

Logistics company Zipline has partnered with Pfizer and BioNTech to facilitate long-range delivery of messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana using drones. The trio are reported to have already successfully completed their first shipment in the West African nation. Pfizer and BioNTech provided the financial backing for the pilot program, along with their technical assistance and expertise in storage specifications and management of their Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The delivery was automated and made use of ultra-cold chain, the vaccine was stored at -90°C to -60 °C. Zipline Chief Executive Officer, Keller Rinaudo stated, “In partnership with Pfizer and BioNTech, we have created a solution to address this potential pain point head on. Together, we are working to help transform vaccine distribution into a more effective, equitable process.”

Logistical challenges have proved the main issue for governments and healthcare organizations, especially when they need to make vaccines available to all parts of the country. This is particularly an issue with low-and middle-income countries. Consequently, Pfizer and BioNTech have dedicated two billion COVID-19 doses to those countries through 2022. Both will work together with private and public organisations to fast-track the global rollout. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been delivered to 155 countries and territories in all regions of the world. As of 11 November 2021, 220,00 vaccine doses from different manufactures have been distributed across Ghana successfully by Zipline. Through the use of their autonomous aircraft at a national scale, the company plans to deliver millions more vaccines as their supply becomes more readily available.