republicworld– Vaccinations against the coronavirus could start in the 27 European Union nations by Christmas, with member states preparing their logistical chains to cope with the rollout of hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccines.
In the industrial zone of the Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, the Air France airfreight terminal is getting ready for COVID-19 vaccine deliveries.
The EU has agreements with six potential vaccine suppliers and is working on a seventh contract.
The deals allow it to purchase over 800 million doses, more than the population of the bloc, which stands at around 460 million people.
The 12-hectare terminal, one of the most important in the world, is ready to step up its capabilities and proceed with French and worldwide deliveries.
According to Airfreight Terminal Director, Grégoire Soulié, the upcoming job will be similar to the mass transport of masks between March and July, when 135 flights “transported 56,000 tonnes of masks and medical equipment”.
“We have an important fleet that we can use, our two all-cargo planes, and another 99 long-haul planes that can be used for transport,” Soulié said.
“We know how to do it, we already have done it and we are ready to do it again.”
One of the all-cargo planes can hold one million doses, Soulié added.
“The real question and the challenge we will have to address will be the last minute order quantities that our clients will communicate to us,” said Florent Gand, the pharmaceutical logistics manager of the facility.
Additionally, the vaccine producers are also working on developing boxes that will be able to maintain down to minus 80 degree temperatures inside electrical containers, to ensure the widest possible distribution