SA IoT firm partners UNICEF to support COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

SA IoT firm partners UNICEF to support COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

Beyond, a South African Internet of things (IoT) solution provider, recently entered into a partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to deploy its remote cold chain monitoring solution for the global COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. 

UNICEF, is distributing COVID-19 vaccine doses to 92 low and lower-middle-income countries, whilst at the same time helping with procurement for more than 97 upper-middle-income and high-income nations.

The UN body aims to distribute and monitor over 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021 through working with technology partners, vaccine manufacturers and logistics firms.

Speaking on the partnership, Ian Lester, CEO of Beyond said, “Together with UNICEF and other NGOs, our technology is already deployed in over 70 countries. The objective of this agreement is to accelerate the procurement process. Time is of the essence.”  

According to a statement, all vaccines must be stored and transported within a particular temperature range to ensure efficacy.

Beyond’s remote temperature monitoring devices and global IoT platform allow partners to view the entire cold chain in real-time as they move vaccines from national depots to the most remote villages.   

“Securing an equitable vaccine supply is only one part of the problem. Perhaps the bigger and vastly more complex challenge is in the storage and transportation of the vaccines, particularly within the last mile where power, infrastructure and skills are in short supply,” adds Lester. 

Lester hopes that the silver lining on the very dark COVID cloud is that the world’s cold chain capacity will be enhanced, not only to support the COVID-19 vaccine but also for routine vaccinations.

“It is crucial to remember that deadly diseases like measles, polio, mumps have not gone away while COVID-19 is tearing the world apart. We have to keep those programmes going while stopping the spread of COVID-19.”