Zipline Drone About Taking Off Photo: Insider

Medical drone firm to begin COVID-19 vaccine deliveries April 2021

*Zipline’s Chief Executive Officer says the company can help address the challenges of vaccine distribution through instant delivery, as it plans activating operations in Nigeria this year

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In order to assist in addressing the emerging challenges of vaccine distribution through instant delivery across the world, Zipline Incorporated, a drone delivery service that specialises in medical supplies, announced that it plans to begin transporting COVID-19 vaccines in April 2021.

The South San Francisco-based startup in a statement Thursday, February 4, that it is partnering with “a leading manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines” in all of the markets where its drones currently operate.

Zipline has been delivering medicine and supplies to rural clinics in Rwanda and Ghana since 2016 and, last year, began delivering personal protective equipment to hospitals and clinics in North Carolina, Bloomberg report said.

The startup also plans to add operations in Nigeria later this year.

However, report indicates Zipline declined to specify its vaccine partner, but said it has built a system that can deliver ultra-low temperature medical supplies, including “all leading COVID-19 vaccines.”

The vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE must be stored in extreme cold at temperatures of negative 70 degrees Celsius, requiring special freezers.

Zipline plans to add these ultra-cold refrigerators at all of its distribution centres, according to report.

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