Review, comparison and benchmarking of last-mile logistics costs for pharmaceuticals, vaccines and associated commodities. The case for or against drones for vaccine delivery.
by Heike Würbel, Master of Global Health
University of Barcelona, June 2017
One of the reasons of poor vaccination coverage is the challenge to provide access to vaccines in last mile settings where road infrastructure is limited or non-existent. Insufficient, unreliable cold storage capacity to accommodate the increased quantities and volumes of vaccines required due to new introductions has also been reported as a challenge. A limited number of cost evaluations of drone use for medical delivery has been performed to date. All of them suggest considering drones as a complement mode of delivery in addition to the existing supply chain system. But operational constraints of this new technology as well as constraints of pending regulations and uncertain local acceptability need to be considered when planning an implementation of drone use for the last mile delivery of vaccines.