health

8,000 jumbo jets will be required to deliver single COVID-19 vaccine doses to 7.8 billion people

15 Comments

IATA has urged governments to begin careful planning with industry stakeholders to ensure full preparedness when vaccines for COVID-19 are approved and available for distribution. The association also warned of potentially severe capacity constraints in transporting vaccines by air.

Air cargo plays a key role in the distribution of vaccines in normal times through well-established global time-and temperature-sensitive distribution systems. This capability will be crucial to the quick and efficient transport and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines when they are available, and it will not happen without careful planning, led by governments and supported by industry stakeholders.

“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. We urge governments to take the lead in facilitating cooperation across the logistics chain so that the facilities, security arrangements and border processes are ready for the mammoth and complex task ahead,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

Facilities

Vaccines must be handled and transported in line with international regulatory requirements, at controlled temperatures and without delay to ensure the quality of the product. While there are still many unknowns (number of doses, temperature sensitivities, manufacturing locations, etc.), it is clear that the scale of activity will be vast, that cold chain facilities will be required and that delivery to every corner of the planet will be needed. Priorities for preparing facilities for this distribution include:

  • Availability of temperature-controlled facilities and equipment - maximizing the use or re-purposing of existing infrastructure and minimizing temporary builds;

  • Availability of staff trained to handle time- and temperature-sensitive vaccines; and

  • Robust monitoring capabilities to ensure the integrity of the vaccines is maintained.

Security

Vaccines will be highly valuable commodities. Arrangements must be in place to keep ensure that shipments remain secure from tampering and theft. Processes are in place to keep cargo shipments secure, but the potential volume of vaccine shipments will need early planning to ensure that they are scalable.

Border Processes

Working effectively with health and customs authorities will, therefore, be essential to ensure timely regulatory approvals, adequate security measures, appropriate handling and customs clearance. This could be a particular challenge given that, as part of COVID19 prevention measures, many governments have put in place measures that increase processing times. Priorities for border processes include:

  • Introducing fast-track procedures for overflight and landing permits for operations carrying the COVID19 vaccine;

  • Exempting flight crew members from quarantine requirements to ensure cargo supply chains are maintained;

  • Supporting temporary traffic rights for operations carrying the COVID19 vaccines where restrictions may apply;

  • Removing operating hour curfews for flights carrying the vaccine to facilitate the most flexible global network operations;

  • Granting priority on arrival of those vital shipments to prevent possible temperature excursions due to delays; and

  • Considering tariff relief to facilitate the movement of the vaccine.

On top of the transport preparations and coordination needed, governments must also consider the current diminished cargo capacity of the global air transport industry. IATA warns that, with the severe downturn in passenger traffic, airlines have downsized networks and put many aircraft into remote long-term storage. The global route network has been reduced dramatically from the pre-COVID 24,000 city pairs. The WHO, UNICEF and Gavi have already reported severe difficulties in maintaining their planned vaccine programs during the COVID19 crisis due, in part, to limited air connectivity.

“The whole world is eagerly awaiting a safe COVID vaccine. It is incumbent on all of us to make sure that all countries have safe, fast and equitable access to the initial doses when they are available. As the lead agency for the procurement and supply of the COVID vaccine on behalf of the COVAX Facility, UNICEF will be leading what could possibly be the world’s largest and fastest operation ever. The role of airlines and international transport companies will be critical to this endeavour,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.

The potential size of the delivery is enormous. Just providing a single dose to 7.8 billion people would fill 8,000 747 cargo aircraft. Land transport will help, especially in developed economies with local manufacturing capacity. But vaccines cannot be delivered globally without the significant use air cargo.

“Even if we assume that half the needed vaccines can be transported by land, the air cargo industry will still face its largest single transport challenge ever. In planning their vaccine programs, particularly in the developing world, governments must take very careful consideration of the limited air cargo capacity that is available at the moment. If borders remain closed, travel curtailed, fleets grounded and employees furloughed, the capacity to deliver life-saving vaccines will be very much compromised,” said de Juniac.

© Asia Travel Tips

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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No worries, Bill Gates and George Soros will pay for the jumbos.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

“The whole world is eagerly awaiting a safe COVID vaccine

I AM NOT EXPECTING OR WAITING ANY VACCINE FROM HUMANS, STOP THE BRAIN-WASH!

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

No worries, Bill Gates and George Soros will pay for the jumbos.

Trump will pay for the disinfectant.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I remember the days when the US was part of the global effort to develop and administer vaccines.

Am SO looking forward to Trump being gone.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Funny. Sweden seems to have gotten over the virus without needing a vaccine.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Funny. Sweden seems to have gotten over the virus without needing a vaccine.

Strangely enough, Sweden is now considering restrictions of their own. They haven’t gotten over anything.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

8,000 Jumbos, or 32 flights with 250 Jumbos. The maths are amazing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@sangetsu03. Why do people persist in peddling the myth that Sweden has somehow defeated the virus. They admit their original strategy caused a lot of unnecessary deaths and suffering.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

A jumbo jet full of Boeing lobbyists wrote this.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Luddite: And their original strategy prevented many deaths from other causes at the same time - a COMPLETE crash of the economy and a social breakdown. Much like here. Seriously Luddite , go back to the UK if you think it is so great.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@TheResident. I much prefer the U.K. to Japan, but despite that preference I still have the right to comment on Japan, Sweden and anywhere else.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Funny. Sweden seems to have gotten over the virus without needing a vaccine.

and yet Sweden has the 8th highest deaths per capita in the world almost as high as the US,

so please stop spreading the Sweden did it right BS, Swedens head of the response admitted the deaths were too high and his response would have been different if done again. Once again the science is right again

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-03/man-behind-sweden-s-virus-strategy-says-he-got-some-things-wrong

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

 I still have the right to comment on Japan, Sweden and anywhere else.

well maybe you can comment that the UK is the 7th and Sweden is 10th highest deaths per capita in the world. yeah both countries have failed miserably in their response

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/

3 ( +6 / -3 )

so please stop spreading the Sweden did it right BS, Swedens head of the response admitted the deaths were too high and his response would have been different if done again. Once again the science is right again

They did and learned from that mistake, namely not isolating the people in elderly care homes in the beginning of the pandemic. But if you think about how many lives have been and will be ruined due to the loss of jobs, economic collapse and social crisis in the countries which took “better” care, you might realize that Sweden has not done so bad as to not be given as an example for going through the pandemic better than many other countries. And, please don’t forget that many people with chronic or other diseases in other countries didn’t have access to proper treatment because of the pandemic. The data are still to be analyzed in a non-biased way. Chances are that Sweden did do very well while in other countries the cure brought more suffering than the disease.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The data are still to be analyzed in a non-biased way. Chances are that Sweden did do very well while in other countries the cure brought more suffering than the disease.

pandemic response is about saving lives, trying to justify a higher death toll to save economic activity is just saying that I dont care if the elderly die as long as I keep my job. please explain to me that its fine that the elderly are expendable

0 ( +4 / -4 )

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