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Draft SOPs for COVID-19 vaccine transport, airport operators told


New Delhi, Dec 31: The Centre has instructed airport operators, including state run Airports Authority of India and others to put in place standard operating procedures for the transport of COVID-19 vaccines that will be approved by the government.

The SOPs will drafted in coordination with the ministry of health and the department of pharmaceuticals. This would spearhead the formation of a multi-mode cold chain that would ensure therefrigerated production, storage, transportation and distribution of the vaccines.

Draft SOPs for COVID-19 vaccine transport, airport operators told

Aviation secretary Pardeep Kharola said, all the main stakeholders- the airports, the ground handlers and the airlines have been alerted and they have been asked to draw up their plans. "The exact SOPs will be formulated with the ministry of health and department of pharmaceuticals when we know the exact quality of the vaccines in terms of what are the precautions that need to be taken, how it has to be transported and what all measures are required. All this has to be factored in. That will be done nearer to the date of transportation and the detailed SOPs will be laid down," he also said.

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"From the place of manufacture to the place of consumption is a long chain and there will be different modes; there will be road travel, air travel, there will be storage, there will be distribution and then there will be administration of the vaccine. This entire process is being prepared on a war footing," he added.

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    "In the administration of the vaccine, transportation is going to be a very important component. This vaccine has to be moved from the place of manufacturing to all corners of the country. The movement of the vaccine will be multi-modal, it cannot be merely civil aviation. It will be a combination of different modes. For our part, we are coordinating with the ministry of health and {department of} pharmaceuticals. We have also had meetings with airports and airlines regarding the transportation plan for the vaccine," Kharola also said.

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