Why gov’ts need to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine logistics now

Aviation Updates Philippines – The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our daily routine and massive economic downturn globally. Pharmaceutical companies and scientists around the world are working hard to make a safe and reliable vaccine. However, after developing a proper vaccine that can cure the disease, it needs fast and reliable transportation to bring them across the globe.
Photo from Joshua Cruz
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned governments that they must start preparing in advance for transporting billions of COVID-19 vaccine doses around the world, a massive and complex logistics task. 

Providing just a single dose of the vaccine to 7.8 billion people worldwide would fill more than 8,000 Boeing 747 cargo planes, highlighting the enormous size of the deliveries once the vaccine is approved and available for distribution, according to IATA.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director-general, said: “We now turn our eyes to the next challenge, which is the role aviation could play in vaccinating the world.” 

Glyn Hughes, IATA’s global head of cargo, told reporters in an online press conference: “If there [are] multiple doses ... then you can see that there will be a considerable burden on the aviation sector to help play a role in transporting these critical commodities around the planet.”

“Safely delivering the vaccines will be “the mission of the century” for the global air cargo industry and requires careful planning now by governments and the vaccine manufacturers.”

Transporting the soon-to-be-released vaccine would undeniably be a challenging and gargantuan mission that will require the cooperation of governments and private companies internationally.

To add, IATA highlighted key considerations in transporting the vaccine, including border procedures that ensure fast processing times, adequate security measures, adequate staffing, appropriate handling, and customs clearance.

A daunting challenge for this logistics nightmare would be finding or building appropriate cold-chain infrastructure to support these vaccines’ storage as it is “highly-sensitive” to temperature. It is said to require storage temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius throughout the process.

The responsibility for airlines would be huge as they would need to prepare equipment to handle these vaccines. The current undersupply in worldwide cargo capacity will not make this job easy.