A Child Was Immunized By the World’s First Drone-Delivered Vaccine

UNICEF announced Tuesday that it and several partners had successfully delivered a vaccine to Cook’s Bay on Erromango Island, where it had been used to vaccinate a one-month-old child against hepatitis and tuberculosis. The drone had to fly more than 24 miles (40 kilometers) to get to its destination, flying over rugged mountainous terrain in the center of the island.

“Today’s small flight by drone is a big leap for global health,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, as quoted by UNICEF’s press release. “Today’s first-of-a-kind vaccine delivery has enormous potential not only for Vanuatu, but also for the thousands of children who are missing out on vaccines across the world.”

The drone delivered enough vaccines for 13 children and five pregnant women. The delivery was the result of a joint effort between UNICEF, private partners, and the local Vanuatu government. UNICEF touted the flight as the “first-ever commercial contract to deliver vaccines by drone.”

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