WHO, Gates Foundation and Novavax announced as speakers at World Immunisation & Logistics Summit, hosted by Abu Dhabi’s HOPE Consortium

The global summit on 29-30 March 2021 will gather over 1,000 senior decision-makers, government officials, industry stakeholders, NGOs, and leading academics

Abu Dhabi’s HOPE Consortium today announces the inaugural World Immunisation & Logistics Summit, a major international gathering of front runners and senior decision-makers leading the charge in the collective human effort against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the international speakers will be Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO, Mark Suzman, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Stanley C. Erck, President and CEO, Novavax.

The summit is organised by the HOPE Consortium, an Abu Dhabi led public-private partnership responsible for the mass distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to the global population. It will take place virtually on March 29 and 30, and will further cement Abu Dhabi’s pioneering role in the fight against COVID-19.

The summit provides an open forum for global leaders to discuss the logistical challenges associated with vaccine transport and distribution - from production to patient - with the aim of finding scalable, real-world solutions to achieving mass and broad worldwide vaccine delivery and vaccination.

The two-day summit will see the participation of over 1,000 attendees from all corners of the globe representing governments, key multi-national NGOs, IGOs, pharmaceutical and global supply chain players, as well as leading academics.

The delegates will tackle key logistical and technological challenges facing global supply chains and associated emerging trends - including the rise of vaccine nationalism - to ensure equitable and rapid delivery of the life-saving vaccines at this critical juncture facing the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of all humankind.

A virtual exhibition alongside the summit will offer attendees one-to-one networking and interactive exhibition booths to engage with key local and international stakeholders.

H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman, HOPE Consortium Executive Committee, said: “The World Immunisation & Logistics Summit is part of Abu Dhabi’s continuous efforts in the global fight against COVID-19, and is a clarion call to the global community, key public and private sector leaders and experts to join hands in solving the largest and most complex logistical effort ever to be undertaken in human history.”

“As we pass the pandemic’s one-year mark, it is incumbent on the international health and logistics players to overcome this enormous challenge through an open forum that brings about scalable, sustainable and equitable vaccine distribution solutions, delivering help and hope to all those in need.”

“The global community is united in its need for solutions and through this summit, Abu Dhabi and the HOPE Consortium are seeking to leverage the power of human will and ingenuity to combat the virus and draw the COVID-19 era to a close.” 

H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Alkaabi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), said: “Hope is Abu Dhabi’s message to the world. Combating this pandemic is not impossible, and we are confident that life as we all know it will go back to normal through our relentless work with all concerned parties to provide and transfer billions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to all parts of the world. This stems from our belief in Abu Dhabi’s vital role in eliminating the virus and limiting its spread, and its position as a global logistics centre.”

“Through the summit, local and international leaders and decision-makers, who are committed to facing the pandemic, will come together to discuss logistical challenges and cooperate to achieve a comprehensive and fair distribution of these vaccines around the world."

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports, and Chairman of the Operations Steering Committee, HOPE Consortium, said: “In assembling a global alliance, the World Immunisation & Logistics Summit reflects our leadership vision and its efforts to find a comprehensive supply-chain solution that touches billions of lives for the better.”

“Keeping pace with an ever-evolving virus is a race against time that requires a combined strategic response from global experts across a broad spectrum of domains and industries. The summit offers Abu Dhabi Ports and our partners an unprecedented opportunity to not only help solve emerging cold chain and logistical challenges, but to work hand-in-hand with the world’s leading health experts to deliver mass volumes of vaccines to a wide range of geographic locations at the right time and in the right ambient environments.”

A key element in the two-day summit’s proceedings will centre on the revolutionary role that technology is playing in enabling end-to-end, safe, secure supply chain operations that protect vaccine integrity throughout its journey.

Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, Head of Digital Cluster at Abu Dhabi Ports and CEO, Maqta Gateway, said: “I am very pleased that Abu Dhabi is hosting this major global summit, which we hope will be a milestone moment in our collective effort against the pandemic.”

“We know that strategically solving logistical issues relating to the physical movement of the vaccines must be undertaken in lockstep with fully integrated digital solutions that ensure the full supply chain transparency and compliance. By exploring technological solutions such as blockchain in addressing global supply chain challenges, we will help provide humanity with the certainty that distributed vaccines are safe and secure.”

Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Sales and Cargo - Etihad Aviation Group, said: “As a founding partner of the HOPE Consortium, this inaugural summit further cements Abu Dhabi’s position as a global logistics hub for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The collaboration of leading experts and decision makers from around the world will further elevate the discussion on finding additional solutions to the largest challenge the sector has faced.

“Etihad Cargo continues to play a vital role in the global distribution solution and leverages its expertise in pharmaceutical logistics and its global network to support the development of an international and collaborative solution with all stakeholders and partners.

“A number of critical shipments of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical supplies have already been carried through Etihad Cargo’s IATA CEIV certified PharmaLife product, utilising a temperature-sensitive cargo solution for between +25⁰C and -80⁰C across the network.”

Rashed Saif Al Qubaisi, CEO, Rafed, said: “The first edition of the summit will serve as a meeting point for global stakeholders to discuss the future dissemination of COVID-19 vaccines. As we continue to successfully roll them out in the UAE, we must also look abroad to see how the strong bonds we have created at home can ultimately benefit our neighbours, the wider region and the rest of the world.

“By managing the contracts and finances for all healthcare and medical supplies, as well as the logistics for the COVID-19 vaccines, Rafed has been at the distribution epicenter for the HOPE Consortium’s immunisation efforts. From receiving millions of doses from manufacturers to the housing and supply to hospitals and clinics across the UAE, Rafed’s state-of-the-art facilities have provided the Consortium with central locations to streamline the delivery of the vaccine.

“Rafed’s Distribution Centre is powered by cold storage technology enabling us to cater for all temperature bands ranging from 2-8ºC storage to - 80ºC deep freezer capabilities for vaccine storage and handling.”

Richard Ettl, CEO, SkyCell, said: “Global collaboration is crucial to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and the HOPE Consortium is a great example of a public private partnership. However, there must be bigger collaboration in play to really make the cold supply chain work seamlessly between governments, vaccine manufacturers, NGOs, airlines and airports as well as packaging companies who are all coming together to ensure the process is as safe as possible. The World Immunisation & Logistics Summit brings together the thought leaders of the vaccine supply chain so that we can achieve our common goal - and so that more people can get protection from this virus.”

Comprising of leading Abu Dhabi entities, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Cargo, Rafed, SkyCell, and Maqta Gateway, as well as a wide body of global logistics players, the HOPE Consortium is developing capacity to transport, store, and distribute 18 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

The public-private partnership has become a growing international movement which is broadening its international transport and delivery capabilities by attracting new partners, including Agility, Aramex, Bolloré Logistics, CEVA Logistics, DB Schenker, DHL, FedEx Express, Hellmann, Kuehne + Nagel, MICCO Logistics, RSA Global, and UPS.