In the first couple weeks of December, children on the remote South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu (key word REMOTE- did they really need this?) received the first vaccines delivered commercially by drone.
The delivery brought the (dangerous) jabs to “13 children and five pregnant women in Cook’s Bay, a small, scattered community on the island that does not have a health center or electricity and is only accessible by foot or small local boats.”1
Currently 1 in 5 of Vanuatu’s children do not receive the vaccines recommended by U.N. health officials.
Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF’s executive director said, “Today’s small flight by drone is a big leap for global health. With the world still struggling to immunize the hardest to reach children, drone technologies can be a game changer for bridging that last mile to reach every child.”2 (As I read that, all I could think of was Bill Gates talking about population control and how some of that could be done via vaccines.)
At this time, Vanuatu’s government is interested in integrating drone delivery of vaccines into their national immunization program and more widely to distribute health supplies.3 We certainly hope those children and pregnant mothers with little access to health care don’t get sick and either suffer irreparable harm or death.