Covid-19 vaccine and the logistics challenge:
an example of the importance of specialty insurance
In the last months, numerous vaccines have been developed to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. If in the last period the epidemic has tested the resilience of people and the resilience of health facilities in the face of an unexpected and complex emergency, in the next months the vaccination campaign will also test the logistic operators. The entire procedure is very complex, from storage to transport, up to administration. At least 10 billion doses will be needed to immunise everyone, as a world population of about 7.8 billion people is involved.
It has been estimated that at least 15.000 air flights and 15 million refrigerated containers will be required to distribute such a quantity of doses of the various drugs developed globally, including Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines. Airfreight will be the preferred mode, as it can guarantee rapid times and high safety standards.
One of the main problems is temperature: the Pfizer-BioNTech drug must be stored at -70 ° C, which implies the use of special containers. Otherwise, refrigeration at -2 ° C is enough for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The “cold chain” for vaccine storage is one of the most complicated challenges. In the case of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, for example, distribution is carried out by Pfizer centers in the United States, Germany and Belgium. From there, the vaccine will travel by land and air, and then be stored in distribution centers before being delivered to the administration facilities.
This is a huge challenge not just for the logistics industry, but for the Marine insurance one, too: adequate solutions are required to protect both the manufacturers and the beneficiaries of the vaccines. Specific clauses will be in place to safeguard the interests of those involved, from producers to freight forwarders, as it is already the case for perishables or pharma. At Care MPL, as the official insurance broker of the MarcoPoloLine network, we have experience in dealing with cargo insurance for a variety of different commodities, from food and wine to automotive, from fine art to project cargo. Contact us for a quote for your own specialty! firstname.lastname@example.org