The political imperative to develop a vaccine to mitigate the impact of the worldwide coronavirus crisis cannot be underestimated. A modern day ‘space race’ to develop, trial and produce a vaccine is underway with the prize of huge prestige for the country and company which is first to get to market. Although the focus is, of course, on the science involved in inventing the drug, it seems that less thought has gone into how the vaccine would be stored and moved around the world, including its specific environmental needs.
The storage and distribution of the vaccine have been secondary considerations although they are just as essential to the control of the global pandemic. For instance, at a time when the air cargo sector is under unprecedented stress due to the cessation of many air passenger services, will there be enough capacity and facilities to distribute chilled or even deep frozen product?
Likewise, will there be enough cool chain warehousing capacity available not only in the markets in which the vaccine is being produced but in every country around the world where it is being distributed? Although it is still too early to say where the vaccine will be produced or by which companies, this paper will identify many of the logistics opportunities and challenges involved in its distribution.