Strengthening cold chain and ultra-cold chain planning for COVID-19 vaccines


May 2023 – present


With backing from USAID and The Coca-Cola Foundation, Project Last Mile has joined forces with the Ministry of Health and Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in Zambia to address critical challenges exposed by the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. These challenges include insufficient cold chain capacity for the effective distribution of vaccines and inadequate maintenance of facility-based vaccine storage facilities.

To strengthen vaccine preparedness, Project Last Mile leveraged The Coca-Cola System’s expertise in maintaining a robust cold chain infrastructure, extending to the last mile. Project Last Mile engaged service providers from The Coca-Cola System to strengthen the operational efficiency of existing cold chain equipment and to develop and coordinate a national cold chain equipment strategy encompassing storage, monitoring, and transportation of vaccines.

Additionally, Project Last Mile focused on building the capacity of health system workers.


  • Assessed 510 health facilities and 666 CCE units.
  • Increased vaccine storage by 57%, adding 16,763 liters.
  • Repaired 392 CCE units.
  • Trained 134 EPI technicians and 528 health facility workers on cold chain equipment care.
  • Installed 132 new solar batteries, 60 solar panels, and 5 Stirling ULT freezers.

This information originally appeared in the 2023 Annual Report.