UPS uses Matternet drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines

UPS has begun using Matternet drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to a hospital in North Carolina.

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist medical center is believed to be the first in the country to receive COVID-19 vaccine deliveries by drone.

This new initiative — operated by UPS and its subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward — expands Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s existing drone program, which was launched in July 2020. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 50% of vaccines are wasted globally every year, largely due to temperature control failure, Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos said in a statement.

When transporting the COVID-19 vaccines, the Matternet M2 drone is outfitted with a special cargo box that contains Cold Chain Technologies’ customized PCM Gel solution, a temperature-sensitive packaging mixture that maintains the COVID-19 vaccine at 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees to 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit).