The worldwide aviation sector, one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, is rolling up its sleeves in preparation for a likely competition in vaccine distribution.
Experts emphasize that distributing a COVID-19 vaccine will be very challenging in terms of global logistics as roughly 15,000 flights and 15 million cooler boxes will be needed for the 10 billion doses of the vaccine worldwide.
Amesh Adalja from John Hopkins University told Anadolu Agency (AA) that vaccines that do not require cold storages for transportation will likely be preferred in the initial period, adding that whichever vaccine is chosen by each country will become a major public health initiative regardless of the origin.
Emphasizing that countries will have to be very transparent about the risks and benefits of the vaccine, Adalja said governments also need to explain who will be vaccinated first and how this priority is determined.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board Chairperson Carsten Spohr said Tuesday in an annual IATA meeting that the aviation sector is ready for its largest and most complicated logistics campaign.
On Nov. 16, U.S.-based Moderna Inc. said its experimental vaccine proved to be 94.5% effective based on an early data analysis.
A week earlier, Pfizer Inc. and Germany's BioNTech SE said their vaccine candidate had demonstrated over 90% efficacy that rose to 95% with analysis of full trial data.
Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine on Nov. 11 was also shown to be more than 90% effective, though only based on 20 infections.
IATA said Tuesday that the aviation industry has taken a historic hit from COVID-19 and, pending an effective vaccine, can only bounce back with systematic testing.
"The Covid-19 crisis threatens the survival of the air transport industry," with 2020 likely to be its "worst" year ever, it said, adding that airline revenues will plunge by 60% this year as a result of the pandemic.