Uruguay has developed an innovative COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy “Lean Logistics for
Vaccines”, that reduces the delivery time of vaccine shipments from port to patient to only 10 hours, saving at least a day in the supply chain.
Despite being the last South American country to kick-start the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, Uruguay had vaccinated more than 70% of the population in less than six months, making this strategy a successful case study in the industry.
Throughout the project, a multidisciplinary team comprising from the public and the private sectors in Uruguay were brought together and contributed to the development of the innovative and integrated distribution strategy.
Carrasco International Airport (Montevideo, Uruguay) played a decisive role in the
preparation, storage and distribution of the vaccines straight to the vaccination centers all over the country, through its Pharma HUB facility.
Minister of Public Health of Uruguay, Dr. Daniel Salinas, said positively: “It was a wise move to choose the airport for the storage and handling of the COVID-19 vaccines, which require ultra-cold conditions.
“It has allowed for quick implementation and avoided cold chain failures.”
“Using the airport as a center for storage, preparation and direct distribution of the ultra-cold COVID-19 vaccines is an innovative approach”, said Eng. Bruno Guella, Managing Director – Cargo (Carrasco International Airport).
“We are very proud to be working alongside with both the public and private sectors in Uruguay for this humanitarian project”.
The information system integration of different entities involved in the supply chain was essential
for the planning, executing and managing of the COVID-19 vaccines distribution.
The flexibility of the operations design helped us adapt the plan as new challenges arouse. In
addition, the inter-institutional collaboration was pivotal in reducing inefficiencies, margin of error and lead times”, said Lic. Jose Luis Satdjian, Vice-Minister of Public Health of Uruguay.
“This was key to the success of our vaccination plan”.