The United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom are examples of countries that have used innovative and non-traditional methods of storing, distributing, and administering the vaccination program of their country. Below are case studies indicating each country’s vaccination campaign, their storage and distribution method, the process of administration, as well as the latest progress and update on their vaccination drive.
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United Arab Emirates (UAE)
UAE’s Vaccination Campaign
- UAE has invested resources in assuring their people of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine as people’s attitude towards it is considered to be one of the key factors to consider to make the vaccination rollout successful.
- In December, the UAE’s Fatwa Council previously issued an Islamic ruling that urges everyone to cooperate with the government for the success of the country’s vaccination campaign. This was in response to concerns among Muslims over Covid-19 vaccines’ halal status.
- To show that the use of the vaccine was in compliance with the Islamic Sharia’s objectives to protect the human body, the Council’s chairman, Abdullah bin Bayyah was vaccinated in public.
- Even Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, who received an experimental Covid-19 vaccine shot in November to join UAE officials taking part in the campaign even during the trial, shared this event to social media to encourage his 10 million Twitter followers.
Storage and Distribution Method
- Abu Dhabi Ports has advanced logistics and capability to store and distribute up to 70 million vaccines through its 40,000 square meter plot with a 19,000 square meter temperature-controlled warehouse facility.
- It is considered to be one of the largest facilities in the region to cater only vaccines and pharmaceutical supplies.
- The facility’s first mile partners transfer the vaccine through an aircraft to their network of partners and then moved into temperature-controlled vehicles within 2 hours. It will then be transferred to temperature-controlled storage of the destination facility.
How Vaccination is Administered
- UAE initially launched its vaccination drive in its capital, Abu Dhabi.
- Its residents will book an appointment, free of charge, through SEHA or the Abu Dhabi Health Services hotline.
- According to SEHA, 2 doses will be administered, 21 days apart.
- Though at least 45 hospitals and local clinics were initially equipped with the vaccine, the vaccination program was launched by the VPS Healthcare Group in 18 hospitals in Abu Dhabi with space set up and dedicated only for the daily vaccination activity.
- A dedicated team of 100 members of VPS Healthcare Group has undergone orientation and training to deliver a target of 5,000 vaccinations per day.
- While other countries vaccinate according to vulnerability and age, the UAE has expanded access to the vaccine to all adults, 18 years old and above, across its population of 1 million nationals and 8 million foreign residents.
- Taking into consideration, residents who have been part of the 4Humanity Phase 3 clinical trials are not included in the vaccination drive. This will be checked by medical professionals through the ALHOSN UAE app.
- The ALHOSN UAE app is the official Covid-19 channel for monitoring of health authorities in the country, made by the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
- Dubai, UAE’s tourism hub, has only one vaccination location. They have set up a temporary field hospital inside a theme park complex. In December, the park has admitted over 1,200 cars per day, queued to access the facility.
Latest Progress (as of January 13, 2021)
- The United Arab Emirates places second (after Israel) among countries that have vaccinated the highest portion of their population compared to the rest of the world.
- As of January 13, UAE has administered 1.39 million cumulative Covid-19 vaccination doses to 14.1% of its people.
- About 1.14 million have received at least one dose, while 2.53% have been fully vaccinated (with 2 doses).
- It has an average of 76,797 vaccination doses administered in the last 7-day average, or equivalent to 10,971 doses per day.
United Kingdom (UK)
UK’s Vaccination Campaign
- The UK was the first Western country to authorize the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
- To kick off its effort for the vaccination campaign, its first jab for the vaccination program, given to a 90-year-old woman, was administered while being watched around the world.
- For the first phase of the vaccination program, it is targeting over 25 million people to be vaccinated, or 40% of its population.
Storage and Distribution Method
- The country stores its vaccines in specialized freezer crates that can keep the vaccines at -70 degrees Celsius.
- It is equipped with GPS and thermometers to ensure it stays at the required temperatures. This technology is used to easily replenish them with dry ice shipped through trucks and planes.
- They were delivered to main coordination hubs near the hospitals stored in crates of 1,000. These hubs will oversee the rollout of the vaccine in different parts of the country.
- The centralized, top-down system of the National Health Service (NHS) is planning to set up 1,500 vaccine distribution centers across the UK.
How Vaccination is Administered
- Vaccine administration is initially done in around 50 hospitals that already have an ultra-cold storage system that can keep the vaccine’s temperature stability.
- UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization came up to “nine priority groups”. Residents in care homes and its workers, approximately 291,000, are the ones to receive the vaccine first.
- The NHS has to work with nursing homes with small populations so it would be easier for them to move the residents to and from the hospitals.
- Next on the priority list are people aged 80+ and frontline social and health care workers, then by 75-79 year-olds.
- Those aged 70-74 will follow, as well as the clinically extremely vulnerable people.
- Approximately at the end of February onward, the remaining priority groups will follow.
- In the whole of the UK, people will be vaccinated through 206 hospital hubs, 1,000 GP sites, 7 mass vaccination sites, and 200 community pharmacies across the country.
- The UK prime minister ordered that no-one should need to travel 10 miles or more just to be vaccinated.
- Extra workers, like retired doctors, were also being recruited by the NHS to be able to reach its initial target to vaccinate 5,000 people daily.
Latest Progress (as of January 12, 2021)
- The United Kingdom places fourth among countries that have vaccinated the highest portion of their population compared to the rest of the world.
- As of January 12, the UK has administered 3.07 million cumulative Covid-19 vaccination doses to 4.52% of its people.
- About 428,232 people or 0.63% of the population have been fully vaccinated (with 2 doses).
- So far, it has an average of 194,451 vaccination doses administered in the last 7-day average, or equivalent to 27,778 doses per day.