The country of Vanuatu comprises roughly 80 islands that stretch across 1300KM of the South Pacific Ocean. The limited infrastructure and varied terrain throughout these islands make the delivery of temperature-sensitive vaccines incredibly difficult. During these journeys, the vaccines can often go outside of the ideal temperature parameters before delivery to the patient; this renders the vaccines ineffective.

In an attempt to modernise and improve the delivery of vaccines, the Ministry of Health of Vanuatu has collaborated with UNICEF commissioning trials to test the effectiveness of drone-delivered vaccinations. Intelsius are proud to have designed the packaging solution for the Wingcopter drone, chosen to deliver the vaccines to the remote islands of Vanuatu during the trial. The Intelsius packaging system has been designed aerodynamically, allowing the drone to achieve over 70MPH during vaccine delivery. The packaging solution is suitable for delivering up to 72 vaccines per journey. The transit time is reduced to around 40 minutes compared to the 6-7 hour journey required for delivery by previous means. Furthermore, the packaging solution maintains the payload temperature between 2°C-8°C for up to 10 hours, ensuring the vaccines remain effective upon delivery to the patient.

To minimise downtime and protect the drone from damage, the vaccines held within the single-use packaging solutions are slowly lowered from the drone to the ground before being removed by the recipient waiting at ground level. The vaccines are protected from damage on impact by reducing the payload slowly. Furthermore, it allows the drone to deliver the vaccines to various locations without checking the landing suitability before the journey commences.

The hope is that following a successful trial period, drone-delivered medicines and vaccines can become a more regular occurrence, supplying lifesaving vaccinations to many developing countries with limited infrastructure in place. Intelsius will continue to provide the packaging for these drones, protecting life’s most precious cargo.

 

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