Drones to deliver vaccines to tiny Pacific islands

The pilot program will test if drones can get medicine to otherwise difficult to reach places on the globe.

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Drone shot You can't get a direct flight to the tiny Pacific islands of Vanuatu. Nearly 2,300 air miles east of Australia, the island-nation is remote enough that its government is testing the use of drones to deliver vaccines to the island's children. UNICEF is also onboard for the trial which will last into 2018.

Companies from UPS to Wal-Mart are exploring how to use drones to deliver goods. But drones are being considered for humanitarian reasons as well, such as the trail in Vanuatu. The first phase will begin later this summer, in August, testing how well the drones can fly, with actually delivery of vaccines starting in February and March 2018 on some of the islands.

Companies interested in applying to use their drones for the trials can apply online—although the deadline is July 7, and fast approaching.

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