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DHL expands global role in the distribution of Corona vaccines

DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has been contracted for the vaccine distribution to Japan. With this order, the company is further expanding its global presence in vaccine logistics. The first delivery of COVID-19 vaccines arrived end of last week. Further shipments will be delivered in various batches by air from the DHL Global Forwarding hub in Belgium to Japan throughout the year. DHL also handles the customs clearance and delivery to a storage facility in Japan, as well as dispatching the vaccines to vaccination facilities across Japan.

“The world has taken another milestone in effectively combating COVID-19 with the development of the vaccines. Now it is essential to make it available to as many people as possible”, says Tim Scharwath, CEO DHL Global Forwarding, Freight. “Logistics plays a key role here. It is our job to get the vaccine to where it is urgently needed, and we accept the responsibility.”

To safely store the vaccine at -70 degrees until the final domestic delivery in Japan, deep freezers were installed at a DHL storage facility. Further, warehouse operations have been ramped up and this project will create additional job opportunities for local workers in the area.

“We are proud to play a role in helping the people of Japan receive their vaccinations for COVID-19, which has upended lives and businesses here. While DHL Global Forwarding’s well-established cold-chain network and pharmaceutical logistics expertise were key to the success of the shipment, our dedicated employees were the true unsung heroes who meticulously planned every last detail to manage an extremely complex operation seamlessly,” said Kelvin Leung, CEO DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific.

Across DHL’s dedicated global network, more than 9,000 specialists work to connect pharmaceutical and research organizations, wholesalers and distributors, as well as hospitals and healthcare providers across the value chain. With this contract, the logistics expert for air, ocean and road freight expands its global presence in vaccine distribution.

DHL’s portfolio for the healthcare industry includes 150+ pharmacists, 20+ clinical trials depots, 100+ certified stations, 160+ GDP-qualified warehouses, 15+ GMP-certified sites, 135+ medical express sites, and an international network covering 220 countries and territories.

(Source: Deutsche Post DHL Group, 2021)


Occupied Palestinian territory and Tunisia notified of indicative allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses during first half of 2021 via COVAX Facility

The COVAX Facility, a global coalition that works to ensure fair and equitable access of vaccines for COVID-19 around the world, has notified health authorities in the occupied Palestinian territory and Tunisia of their allocation of COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first wave of deliveries to countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

By mid-February 2021, over 37 000 vaccine doses of the Pfizer vaccine will reach the occupied Palestinian territory and almost 94 000 doses will reach Tunisia for the most at-risk and vulnerable people living in these countries.

“Countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region have started gearing up to receive and deploy the vaccines among their communities. With news of vaccines soon to be delivered to vulnerable people in the occupied Palestinian territory and Tunisia this month, we are hopeful that we are on the right track in the fight against this pandemic,” said Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

20 countries in the Region are awaiting an additional estimated 46 to 56 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine doses via COVAX Facility during the first half of this year.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is still under review for WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL), which is expected to occur soon. The doses delivery is subject to EUL and countries fulfilling requirements to confirm readiness for receiving the vaccines.

WHO’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean continues to work with countries to provide technical guidance, ensure systems and logistics in place for successful rollout and distribution, and ensure vaccine safety.

“Until every last person is vaccinated, we need to continue to comply with local and national public health and social measures, and to take simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue,” said Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari.

COVAX Facility is a global coalition that works to ensure fair and equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines around the world. So far, 190 countries have joined the COVAX initiative, including all 22 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. COVAX Facility aims to have 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines available for distribution across the globe by the end of 2021, targeting those most at risk (e.g. frontline health workers) and most vulnerable severe diseases and death (e.g. elderly and people with co-morbidities).

(Source: Reliefweb, 2021)


Gilead Sciences and Wake Forest University School of Divinity Partner to Address HIV Epidemic Through Faith-Based Programming and Community Outreach

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced a new partnership with the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, one of the leading academic and faith-based institutions in the United States, as part of the company’s ongoing COMPASS Initiative®. Through COMPASS, Gilead works with non-profit and academic institutions, which serve as coordinating centers that direct support to local community organizations through grants, training and collaborative learning opportunities to help mitigate the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States.

Wake Forest will serve as the initiative’s fourth coordinating center, expanding into faith-based communities, notably the Black church, to address an important element of Gilead’s strategy to reach people living with or at risk of HIV in the Southern United States. Wake Forest will join the existing coordinating centers: Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Southern AIDS Coalition and the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.

“In our role as a coordinating center, the Wake Forest University School of Divinity is looking forward to working with other faith-based organizations to shift harmful cultural narratives about HIV throughout the Southern United States to narratives of justice, healing and hope,” said Rev. Jonathan Lee Walton, PhD, Dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. “We are pleased to work with Gilead and the other coordinating centers to help advance social justice, interfaith and LGBTQ+ issues across communities and build strong partnerships that bring innovative solutions to people living with and at risk of HIV.”

“COMPASS is an important example of Gilead’s commitment to address healthcare disparities as part of our broader efforts to promote social justice,” said Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences. “From our years of working with people and organizations battling HIV in the Southern United States, we recognize the important role of faith communities and leaders. We are looking forward to working with Wake Forest and a growing network of faith leaders as part of the overarching efforts to end the HIV epidemic.”

Launched in 2017, COMPASS is a 10-year, more than $100 million collaborative initiative that seeks to eradicate underlying serious and systemic challenges that contribute to the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States. These challenges require coordinated and cross-sector responses primarily focused on combating stigma, improving the quality of and access to healthcare services and increasing local leadership and advocacy efforts for those impacted by HIV. Through Gilead’s work with the coordinating centers and direct engagement with partners in the region, the company has provided $52 million in funding to the Southern United States since the program’s inception, in support of nearly 150 organizations.

COMPASS focuses on the geographies in the Southern United States identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as hardest hit by HIV, and where the government is providing additional resources, technology and expertise to expand HIV prevention and treatment activities.

The Black community and other communities of color continue to experience the greatest burden of HIV in the United States, according to the CDC. Despite being only 13% of the U.S. population, Black Americans account for 43% of the new HIV diagnoses in the country. The disproportionate impact on these communities is particularly high in the Southern United States, where 53% of people living with HIV and 52% of new diagnoses occur among Black individuals. This disparity is even higher among women: Black women account for 67% of all women with diagnosed HIV in the Southern United States.

“The disproportionate burden of HIV on Black communities and other communities of color in the U.S. South is alarming,” said Rev. Shonda Jones, EdD, who will lead the coordinating center’s activities and is Senior Associate Dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. “Through COMPASS, we have an opportunity to eradicate root causes of HIV, including stigma, and to reach people impacted by the disease through Black churches and other interfaith partners in the Southern United States.”

Outreach in the context of interfaith services and beyond offers an opportunity to educate community organizations about HIV.

“I know first-hand about the stigma that many of us face in the Black community,” said Morris Singletary, Executive Director of Pozitive2Positive, which first received COMPASS funding in 2019. “COMPASS has given our organization the opportunity to help connect with Black men of faith and build a program that helps us support one another. I look forward to working with Wake Forest and Gilead to drive change and foster conversations around faith, sexuality and health.”

(Source: Gilead Sciences, 2021)