New Delhi, December 22
The Delhi airport has a storage capacity of 2.7 million vials of COVID-19 vaccine at any given point of time, said a top official on Tuesday.
Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, the CEO of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), said at a press briefing that the vaccine distribution programme, which was likely to begin from January, had been named ‘Project Sanjivani’ by the airport operator.
“We have a storage capacity of around 2.7 million vaccine vials at any moment of time. If we are able to conduct two rounds of distribution during a day, we can distribute 5.4 million vials daily,” he said.
The Centre had last Tuesday said that three firms – Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India and Pfizer – have sought emergency approvals for their vaccines and they were being examined by the COVID-19 subject expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).
Jaipuriar said at the briefing that the Pfizer vaccine had to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius, and therefore, the Delhi airport did not have any storage facility for that vaccine.
“However, if you go through the literature at the Pfizer website, it says that the vaccine can be stocked with dry ice for 30 days and at 2-8 degrees for five days. So, total 35 days are available for distribution, which should be sufficient and we are totally geared up for that,” he added.
The vaccines of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech can be stored at regular fridge temperatures.
The Delhi airport has two cargo terminals with cool chambers where temperature can be set anywhere between -20 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius.
“These vaccines can come in an envirotainer which can be plugged in to keep the vaccines cool. We have made about 60 plug points where they can be plugged in and they can stay there at the same temperature,” Jaipuriar noted.
The Delhi airport has also made arrangements for dry ice supply so that the vaccine can be kept stable for a longer period, he said.
All these measures are part of Project Sanjivani.
“We have made a separate entrance for trucks that are likely to carry vaccines. There is a truck management system where the slot can be booked in advance,” said Jaipuriar.
He said the company was looking at various options so that the vaccine batches get quick approvals from different government bodies at the airport so that they could be sent out as soon as they land at the airport. PTI