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Australia prepares for coronavirus vaccine rollout

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Contracts have been signed with companies to partner with the Australian Government to safely distribute doses of the coronavirus vaccine to all Australians from March next year.

The contracts cover three vital aspects of the vaccine rollout: distribution and logistics and data.

For distribution and logistics, DHL Supply Chain and Linfox will undertake COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

For data, Accenture will provide tracking of vaccine doses as well as enabling overall program implementation monitoring.

PwC will also be the Department of Health’s Program Delivery Partner for the vaccine rollout.

Finalisation of these contracts confirms Australia is on track to achieve a well-ordered, efficient and safe rollout of COVID-19 vaccine. Subject to approvals, the first vaccinations will be provided to health workers and aged care residents from March.

DHL Supply Chain and Linfox will work with the Department of Health to design and operate a national distribution network. They will support vaccination for all, including people in rural, remote and very remote areas and others who are hard to reach.

They will also be required to track and report the temperature of the vaccine at all times. The required temperature could be 2 to 8 degrees (standard cold chain temperatures) to as low as minus 70, which is needed for the Pfizer vaccine.

Purpose built dry ice containers will be supplied for moving the Pfizer vaccine around Australia, as part of the Government’s global distribution deal with Pfizer.

As well as transporting the vaccines from the point of acceptance from manufacturers to vaccination administration sites, the logistics partners will be responsible for transport and management of vaccination supplies such as needles, syringes, and personal protective equipment.

Data partner Accenture will design, develop, and implement a software solution to enable “point in time” visibility of COVID-19 vaccine doses across the delivery chain.

This will include receipt of the vaccine by health services, vaccination of patients, and subsequent monitoring for adverse reactions.

Vaccines will be a critical part of Australia’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and the Australia Government has secured over 117 million doses to cover the Australian population several times over.

Vaccines will complement the other vital health measures including social distancing, good hand hygiene, high testing rates and Australians mandatory hotel quarantine regime for international travellers.

Source: Department of Health 

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