Published 23 Dec 2020
Covid-19 Vaccines Transport
The question is: Who will carry them and under what conditions?
With the cooling of the weather, the number of deaths and cases began to increase in the global outbreak of the corona virus. Many countries have been forced to put aside their efforts to return to new normality and take back the quarantine practices. While the fight against the corona virus continues, vaccine work has also accelerated. As vaccine studies continued, one of the biggest questions was how to deliver these vaccines to countries and people. The logistics sector proved once again its importance during this period of crises.
Delivery and storage conditions of different vaccines
The first corona virus vaccine was developed in partnership with BioNTech and Pfizer, which caused for great hope all around the globe. Immediately after, there was great news from Moderna, who also developed a vaccine. Both the resulting vaccines managed to be ninety-five percent effective. The vaccine, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, needs to be shipped at -70 degrees, and can last 5 days at refrigerator temperature. The Moderna vaccine must be delivered at -20 degrees but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.
International vaccine transport
For international transport, aircraft are preferred in the context of vaccination. This is because air transport is much faster. As the race against time for the corona virus vaccine continues, the aviation industry, which has begun planning for distribution, stressed that this will be the ‘biggest shipping problem ever experienced’. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) stated that a fleet equivalent to exactly 8 thousand Boeing 747s per day is needed for deployment. Because a temperature range of 2 to 8 degrees is needed to transport drugs, not all aircraft will be suitable for vaccine delivery. Some vaccines must be transported at very low temperatures, which will eliminate many more aircrafts in between the options.
Domestic vaccine transport
After the vaccines reach a country, trucks will be preferred for domestic distribution. Since the vaccines have to be transported under cold conditions, attention is focused on refrigerated trucks. A refrigerator truck is a type of vehicle that can carry products at low degrees and is usually preferred for food. (If you would like to learn more about this truck type, you may have a look at our article “Types of vehicles used in logistics”) There are less refrigerator trucks available compared to normal trucks and now that they are in demand their value is increasing drastically. It seems that these trucks will be popular in domestic distribution. In this context, it is expected that the states will have to work together with experienced and large logistics companies.
Important criteria for vaccine transport
The transport of the vaccines is as important as producing them, in order to save humanity from the corona virus outbreak. If the logistical processes are well planned, the vaccines are expected to be sent to most countries without any problems.