Emirates Airline President Tim Clark said the aviation industry was braced for the complex task of distributing vaccines
Emirates Airline is to partner with global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to help navigate the challenges of distributing its Covid-19 vaccine.
Emirates President Tim Clark said in an interview with CNBC that the aviation industry is working on establishing the most efficient way to deliver crucial vaccines to the market, once approved.
He said the carrier is working closely with Pfizer to develop methods to transport the vaccine.
Last week, drug firms Pfizer and BioNTech announced its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective.
The findings – yet to be peer-reviewed – appear to exceed expectations, with reports suggesting that experts thought vaccines would be nearer to 60 or 70 per cent effective.
The data comes from Phase-3 clinical trials that are continuing.
“The industry is trying to establish best practice involving the third-party supply chain and this logistical exercise, to ensure we get them (vaccines) to the markets that need them so badly, and basically that’s the whole planet,” Clark told CNBC in an exclusive interview yesterday.
“The logistics of distribution of this vaccine of this nature, given the conditions under which it has to be shipped, it’s going to be a challenge for the industry.
“We’re working on trying to move this Pfizer vaccine in specialty designed containers on our planes, in our holds, and in the cabins, and keeping them at that level through the distribution point,” Clark said.
Should the vaccine be given approval for widespread use, a maximum of about 50m doses would be available this year, with capacity for 1.3bn more to be manufactured in 2021, according to Pfizer and BioNTech, its German pharmaceutical company trial partner.
While reports indicate the vaccine does cause side effects, such as aches and fever, these are not thought to be worse than what is often seen with vaccines.
The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is one of 11 around the world in phase 3 clinical trials, which involve thousands of participants and as well as testing effectiveness, look for rare and potentially harmful side effects.
In an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Prof Ugur Sahin, co-founder of BioNTech, predicted the coming winter would still be problematic, but the effects of the new drug would have an early and increasingly positive effect.