The government is planning to conduct the largest vaccination drive in the world in the coming days. It is contemplating providing two vaccines to every part of the country, for which the Centre will extensively use the transport aircraft fleet of the Indian Air Force. This would include the C-130J and Antonov-32 cargo planes.
Containers specially designed for transporting the COVID-19 vaccine have been prepared by the vaccine manufacturers. These would keep the vaccine at the desired temperatures during transportation to different parts of the country for a 24-hour period, top government officials stated, according to India Today.
The Indian Air Force will also use its exclusive military airfields and advanced landing grounds to transport the vaccine to the remotest parts of the country, including places like Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, the officials added.
Officials also stated that a major portion of vaccine transportation would be undertaken by commercial airlines. The IAF will be providing aircraft landing facilities at military airfields to these commercial airlines involved with the vaccine transportation programme. Commercial airlines don't usually operate from military airfields, but special exemptions are being made.
IAF aircraft will be used to carry the vaccine to remote airfields and advanced landing grounds in states such as Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. If necessary, helicopters will also be used to carry the vaccine to the remotest of locations.The armed forces have also identified hospitals where their own personnel would be administered the vaccine.
Discussions on the transportation of vaccines are still going on and details are being finalised in this regard, the officials noted. As of now, the government drug regulator has approved two vaccines - Covaxin and Covishield for emergency use.