Emirates airline will partner with global pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer to help with distributing its COVID-19 vaccine.
Emirates president Tim Clark said the airline is working closely with American multinational Pfizer to develop methods to transport the vaccine.
“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 on November 15. “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 specially designed containers on our planes, in our holds, and in the cabins, and keeping them at that level through the distribution point,” he added.
The vaccine has to be kept at a temperature around minus 70°C for optimal efficiency.
Last week, Pfizer and its German trial partner BioNTech announced that their Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective. The data comes from ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials. While reports indicate the vaccine may cause side effects, such as aches and fever, they are not worse than what is often seen with other vaccines.
The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is one of 11 around the world in Phase 3 clinical trials, which involve thousands of participants. Other vaccine candidates in clinical trials around the world include vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
If the vaccine receives approval for widespread use, a maximum of about 50 million doses would be available this year, with capacity for 1.3 billion more to be manufactured in 2021, according to Pfizer.
Clark said the Pfizer vaccine, and others in development, could have a positive impact on the global economic recovery, the aviation sector and global aviation demand.