Abdulla Al Hamed visits Abu Dhabi Ports’ COVID-19 vaccine storage warehouse
Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), visited state of the art home of the Hope Consortium in Abu Dhabi Ports’ temperature-controlled warehouse facility in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), and one of the world’s largest ultra-modern pharmaceutical logistics facilities, which have the capacity of handling and storing up to 120 million vials of the COVID-19 vaccine at any one time and their associated consumables.
Al Hamed was welcomed by Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports, and Chairman of the Operations Steering Committee, HOPE Consortium, Abdullah Al Hameli, Head, Industrial Cities and Free Zone Cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports, Robert Sutton, Head of Logistics Cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports alongside a number of officials from the Hope Consortium.
He toured the 19,000 square metre facility, which has the capability to store all types of vaccines and other pharmaceutical products at the specialised temperature range of +8 C to -80 C as well as ambient temperature storage for other pharmaceutical consumables, which further complements the warehouse’s ability to handle and store all different types of COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available.
Abdulla Al Hamed stated, “Under the guidance of the UAE’s wise leadership and the wise investment in world-class infrastructure, Abu Dhabi has proven its ability to overcome all challenges, beat the impossible and spread hope. This has been evident through its leading efforts to maintain the health and safety of all members of its community and people around the world. Abu Dhabi did not stop at being one of the leading cities with vaccinated population against COVID-19, it also actively contributed to development of such vaccines, through being home to some of the largest clinical trials globally and now with one of the largest capacities globally to handle the specialised task of transport, storage and distribution of the much needed vaccines worldwide”
Al Hamed praised the vital role that Abu Dhabi Ports is playing in supporting the HOPE Consortium mission, which reflects Abu Dhabi’s ambition that knows no limits. He highlighted that Abu Dhabi Ports contributes to making the COVID-19 vaccines available in the most efficient way while taking into consideration the infrastructure of the countries receiving the vaccines, their storage capabilities and the temperate that they can deal with.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said, “We are proud to have the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi’s continuous support, through spearheading and initiating the Hope Consortium and we continue to witness this today in their visit to the region’s largest vaccine storage facility and one the largest globally, which is a testament to pioneering role in numerous fields, most notably the vital life science sector.”
“The Hope Consortium is one of the world’s largest technology-led supply chain platforms, developed to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine safely and efficiently, leveraging Abu Dhabi’s strategic location as a global and vital hub in the life sciences and logistics sector. Combined with a unique collaboration with globally leading healthcare, pharmaceutical, humanitarian and logistical organisations, we are well-positioned, under the guidance of our leadership, to deliver hope and help nations worldwide combat the pandemic,” added Captain Al Shamisi.
The warehouse has an overall capacity of nearly 40,000 pallets with a cold storage containing 25,000 pallets and an air-conditioned chamber having 15,000 pallets. It also includes dedicated freezing rooms that allow for the safe delivery and storage of ultra-cold vaccines that require storage at down to -80 C temperature.
The Hope Consortium is a manifestation of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to the global battle against the pandemic. It represents a complete supply chain solution to address vaccine transport, demand planning, sourcing, training, and digital technology infrastructure, and facilitate vaccine availability across the world. The Consortium has pooled its collective expertise to garner a multi-faceted capability to provide logistics services to handle up to 6 billion doses in 2021 (rising up to 18 billion by end of the year) from the vaccines being developed and manufactured around the world.
It is spearheaded by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, and consists of Abu Dhabi Ports Group through its specialised logistics and digital solution; Etihad Cargo, the only IATA Certified for Pharma transport, Rafed, the healthcare purchasing arm of Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, and Switzerland’s award-winning SkyCell, which develops next-generation, temperature-controlled logistics containers for the pharmaceutical industry. The consortium already handled and helped in distribution of millions of vaccine locally and globally in association with its freight forwarding partners that have teams on the ground in over 190 countries.