Global airline body urges governments to start planning now for Covid-19 vaccine deliveries

IATA says successfully delivering Covid-19 vaccines worldwide will be 'mission of the century'

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging governments to start planning now in order to safely deliver Covid-19 vaccines by air.

The airline body said delivering single dose vaccines worldwide “will be the mission of the century” for the global air cargo industry and could create “severe capacity constraints”.

It would require 8,000 Boeing 747 cargo aircrafts to deliver 7.8 billion does globally, the IATA said.

“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.

Delivering billions of doses by air is a complex task, as temperatures in aircrafts have to be monitored and staff will have to be trained to handle time and temperature sensitive vaccines.

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As well as temperature, the IATA also says that security will be an issue.

WIth vaccines to be a very valuable commodity, there will have to be arrangements to ensure that shipments remain secure from tampering and theft, it said.

Although there is no Covid-19 vaccine yet, about 140 vaccines are in early stages of development.

FURTHER READING: Covid-19 vaccine not expected until mid 2021, says WHO

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