China Southern Airlines announced on Thursday that it is facilitating COVID-19 vaccine shipping, as global aviation sector is ready for a vaccine delivery race.
China Southern Airlines has set up a COVID-19 vaccine shipping task force back in October 2020 to facilitate safe and rapid global delivery of coronavirus vaccines in respond to the needs of its different partners, according to media reports.
As a pharmaceutical cold chain product, vaccines' shipment places higher requirements for air carriers.
Carriers providing vaccines shipping must be able to provide reliable controlled-temperature services. All vaccines must be shipped at ambient temperatures of + 2C to 8C or under the conditions specified by the manufacturers and indicated on the shipping device label, according to a "guide for air transportation of coronavirus vaccine shipment" issued by Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
China Southern Airlines is the first enterprise in the Chinese mainland to obtain the dual certification of IATA CEIV Pharma. The certification represents the highest standard of international temperature-controlled medicine air transportation, which is recognized by COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers and global pharmaceutical logistics suppliers, according to the airlines.
With more vaccines being released onto the market, Chinese and foreign airlines are actively preparing for a swift vaccine transportation to the needy.
Aside from China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines have also completed its maiden flight for COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday, carrying a batch of vaccines donated by the Chinese government to Georgetown, capital of Guyana.
According to a recent white paper jointly released by DHL and McKinsey, it is estimated that the global demand for COVID-19 vaccines will exceed 10 billion doses, which will require about 200,000 pallets, 15 million cooling tanks and 15,000 full load Boeing 747 freighters to administer the shipment.