Airline industry has announced that the shipping a coronavirus vaccine around the world will be the “largest transport challenge ever”.
The international Air Transport made an indication that the equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747s will be needed.
Currently there is no Covid-19 vaccine, but IATA is already working together with airlines, airports, global health bodies and drug firms on a global airlift plan.
The distribution programme has made an assumption that only one dose per person is needed.
IATA’s chief executive Alexandre de Juniac stated that , “Safely delivering Covid-19 vaccines will be the mission of the century for the global air cargo industry. But it won’t happen without careful advance planning. And the time for that is now”
While airlines have been switching their focus onto delivering cargo during the severe downturn in passenger flights, shipping vaccines is far more complex.
Not all planes are fit for delivering vaccines as they require a typical temperature range of between 2 and 8C for transporting drugs. Some vaccines may needed frozen temperatures which would exclude many aircrafts.
“We know the procedures well. What we need to do is scale them up to the magnitude that will be required,” Glyn Hughes, the industry body’s head of cargo noted.