Children on remote island receive first drone-delivered vaccines

/ CBS News

Drone delivers vaccines to remote island

Children in the remote South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu have received the first vaccines delivered commercially by drone. The drone delivery covered almost 25 miles of rainforests and rugged mountainous terrain.

The delivery brought potentially life-saving vaccines 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.

Currently 1 in 5 of Vanuatu's children do not receive their recommended shots, U.N. health officials said. UNICEF says drone technology could be a game-changer for health in remote corners of the world.

"Today's small flight by drone is a big leap for global health," said Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF's executive director. "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."

Long-term, Vanuatu's government is interested in integrating drone delivery of vaccines into their national immunization program and using drones more widely to distribute health supplies. Data from this test program will also be used to inform other countries how drones can be used commercially in similar settings around the world.

"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," Fore said. "This is innovation at its best, and shows how we can unlock the potential of the private sector for the greater good of the world's children."

First published on December 18, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The bump stock ban will soon be official

Bump stocks​, which effectively turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one, will soon officially be banned

updated 13M ago

Mom who couldn't see dying son due to travel ban gets waiver

The child, a U.S. citizen, has been on life support at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland for the past month

updated 14M ago

White House briefs press amid shutdown negotiations – live stream

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is delivering a White House press briefing as Congress, White House negotiate government funding, and after former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was sentenced for lying to FBI

updated 15M ago

Holiday surprise: Michigan business hands out $20,000 bonuses

The company's owner said he wanted to "do something more" at the holidays for his 200 employees — and did he ever

updated 12M ago

White House says it wants to avoid government shutdown

"At the end of the day we don't want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border," Sarah Sanders said

updated 38M ago

The bump stock ban will soon be official

Bump stocks​, which effectively turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one, will soon officially be banned

updated 13M ago

White House briefs press amid shutdown negotiations – live stream

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is delivering a White House press briefing as Congress, White House negotiate government funding, and after former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was sentenced for lying to FBI

updated 15M ago

White House says it wants to avoid government shutdown

"At the end of the day we don't want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border," Sarah Sanders said

updated 38M ago

Trump Foundation closes amid probe into donations

New York's attorney general says Trump Foundation has agreed to dissolve, with its assets going to approved charities

updated 9M ago

Court hearing scheduled for Rep. Chris Collins in insider trading case

The New York Republican, charged with insider trading, is accused of sharing information with his son about a biotech company in which he held the largest shares

1H ago

Drone delivers vaccines for kids on remote island

The drone delivery covered almost 25 miles of rainforests and rugged mountainous terrain

updated 4M ago

Mom who couldn't see dying son due to travel ban gets waiver

The child, a U.S. citizen, has been on life support at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland for the past month

updated 14M ago

U.K. to put troops on standby for no-deal Brexit "contingencies"

With a trade and customs deal with EU still seemingly out of reach as deadline nears, government warns businesses to be ready for disruption

1H ago

Russia rejects damning reports on pro-Trump election meddling

Moscow issues oft-repeated flat denial of "any kind of interference" in U.S. politics as Senator warns it's "time to get serious in addressing this challenge"

3H ago

Neo-Nazi couple jailed for belonging to group banned in U.K.

All 6 found guilty of membership in National Action, a group banned under anti-terror laws for advocating "overthrow of democracy" by violence

3H ago

"Vice's" Christian Bale and Adam McKay chronicle Dick Cheney's rise to power

To play the former vice president, Bale shaved his head and packed on some 40 pounds

3H ago

Alfonso Ribeiro sues Fortnite over alleged use of "Carlton dance"

At around $5 per dance it's earned the game creators hundreds of millions of dollars

4H ago

Ray Rice says he doesn't want a second chance – he already got one

In February 2014, surveillance video showed the former Baltimore Ravens running back punching his fiancee in an elevator

updated 36M ago

Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn share Christmas photo

Hawn posted the picture on Instagram and wrote, "Never thought I'd be sleeping with Santa!"

18H ago

"The Dark Crystal" prequel reveals first look

Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy and Nathalie Emmanuel lead the voice cast

19H ago

How I tried and failed to quit Google

Technology experts explain why attempting to stop using one of the world's largest tech companies is so difficult – and possibly futile

1H ago

New reports detail sophistication of Russian influence efforts in U.S.

Two new analyses this week portray a sprawling, multifaceted operation affecting millions of users in the U.S. and persisting long after the 2016 presidential election

21H ago

Google to spend $1B on major New York City expansion

The 1.7 million square-foot campus will help the tech giant double its New York City staff within a decade

17H ago

First of new fleet of GPS satellites set for launch

New generation is designed to be more secure and accurate but many new features won't be available until 2022 or later

3H ago

Colin Kroll, HQ Trivia and Vine co-founder, dies at 34

Colin Kroll, the CEO and co-founder of the popular HQ Trivia app, has died, the company said Sunday

Dec 16

Drone delivers vaccines for kids on remote island

The drone delivery covered almost 25 miles of rainforests and rugged mountainous terrain

updated 4M ago

How does federal judges' health insurance stack up?

With a federal court ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional, here's a look at the kind of health coverage judges get

3H ago

Child abuse rises on day after Friday report cards, study shows

But no such trend noted on other days of week, and researchers could only speculate about the reason for the increases

7H ago

3 who got Legionnaires' disease in Wisconsin hospital die

University of Wisconsin Hospital says 10 others recovered and were released; blames outbreak on since-flushed hot water system

2H ago

David Begnaud on seeking "acceptance" for Tourette's

The CBS News correspondent recently revealed that he struggled with debilitating Tourette syndrome as a child

16H ago

Holiday surprise: Michigan business hands out $20,000 bonuses

The company's owner said he wanted to "do something more" at the holidays for his 200 employees — and did he ever

updated 12M ago

Trump Foundation closes amid probe into donations

New York's attorney general says Trump Foundation has agreed to dissolve, with its assets going to approved charities

updated 9M ago

Federal K-9 handlers paid more than VP Mike Pence

Outsized overtime pay allowed some Homeland Security employees to outearn top government officials, report finds

updated 15M ago

How business owners can stand out amid market's noise

Entrepreneurs can build great products, but without a distinct brand, marketplace noise will drown them out.

1H ago

Gary Cohn: Economy "strong," but U.S. has "huge debt problem"

This week marks one year since the passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, which reduced the corporate and individual tax rate

2H ago

Man in alleged GoFundMe scam could face jail on traffic charges

Mark D'Amico, his girlfriend and a homeless veteran allegedly concocted a good Samaritan story to scam donors

1H ago

Teen caught on video attacking girl wearing hijab in school

Authorities in suburban Pittsburgh say they deem the bathroom incident bullying, not hate crime for now

1H ago

Two Chicago police officers killed by train

Police said the officers were investigating a call of shots fired when they were hit by the passing train

7H ago

Statue of Liberty climber convicted in July 4 protest

Therese Okoumou testified she climbed the base of the statue to protest separation of families at the U.S-Mexico border

18H ago

Mother in viral video where NYPD take toddler speaks out

"I was so afraid. I was combative with my thoughts … I just remember being talked to very viciously," Jazmine Headley said Sunday

Dec 16