In support of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and commercial airliners would be used extensively to deliver the two vaccines across the country.
“Transport aircraft of the Air Force including the C-130Js and AN-32s are planned to be used for taking the vaccines to the remote parts of the country. Arrangements are being made by the suppliers to provide the vaccines in specialised containers that will keep the vaccines refrigerated safely for 24 hours during transportation and delivery to the local administration officials,” government officials said here.
The major part of transportation by air would be done by commercial airliners.
IAF would also be providing lending facilities to commercial airliners at the military airfields where commercial planes do not operate, the officials stated.
The Air Force transport aircraft would be used for flying vaccines to remote airfields and advanced landing grounds in states such as Arunachal Pradesh and Union Territory of Ladakh.
As per the plan, if required, the force would also use its helicopter fleet to take the coronavirus vaccines to the remotest locations. The discussions on the transportation of vaccines are still on and details are being finalised, they said.
Last week, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) announced “restricted emergency use” for Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, which has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
In Delhi, the armed forces have identified Army Research and Referral Hospital, Base Hospital, Armed Forces Clinic, Air Force Centre, Subroto Park, and Air Force Station, Palam for administering the vaccines to its personnel.