Inside the UAE’s COVID-19 vaccine center

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Millions of COVID-19 vaccines lie in a warehouse in Abu Dhabi, waiting to be shipped around the world and injected into people’s arms.

Outside, the temperature is skyrocketing. Inside, the warehouse is kept at around 4 degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and its ultra-cold storage refrigerators at -81 degrees Celsius.

The Abu Dhabi Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD) building is part of the HOPE consortium, a vaccine trade logistics group set up by the emirate last year as global demand for storage and shipping of COVID-19 vaccines were skyrocketing.

It recently expanded its services in partnership with Via Medica International Healthcare to get vaccines the last mile of their journey from airports to people in countries with limited logistics or healthcare capabilities, to avoid vaccine wastage. .

“Vaccines are important, but vaccinations are even more important,” said Robert Sutton, Abu Dhabi Port Logistics Manager.

The HOPE consortium said it has processed around 65 million doses of the vaccine in more than 40 countries so far.

“A typical supply chain collects from point A and delivers to point B. We actually go beyond that. We monitor demand from manufacturers, we track purchase orders against that,” Sutton said.

The UAE is an aviation hub and is trying to diversify its oil-based economy into technical, medical and other areas.

(Report by Abdelhadi Ramahi, written by Lisa Barrington, edited by Andrew Heavens)

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