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Govt issues guidelines for packaging &  transportation of Covid-19 vaccines by air 


The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued guidelines for the packaging and transportation of Covid-19 vaccines by air, directing airport authorities and airlines to use dry ice as the refrigerant material during the transportation to maintain the low temperatures between -8° C to -70° C. Though there may be different refrigerant options, dry ice (carbon dioxide solid) is the most commonly used, affordable and readily available refrigerant material available in the country for transportation of perishables by air. The vaccines packed in dry ice should ideally be transported in the lower deck of the aircraft, but if the airline wishes to transport them in the passenger cabin, then the flight crew must be properly trained on the hazards and risks of its transportation, DGCA said, as per a report.

The operator should take all necessary steps to ensure that the flight crew is not harmed by carbon dioxide incapacitation or intoxication. The crew should be properly trained on the hazards and risks of transporting dry ice and on the procedures related to the operation. Any other occupants on-board should only be allowed if required under demonstrated urgent operational needs. The government has allowed passenger aircraft to transport vaccines. Pune will be the central hub from where vaccine distribution will take place while 41 destinations across the country have been finalised for delivery of vaccines, the report added.


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