New IATA recommendations outline coronavirus vaccine distribution plan

Association hopes to prep supply chain for one of its largest logistical challenges


The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which previously noted that month-on-month global demand for air cargo in September increased 3.7% over August numbers, recently released logistics supply chain guidance to help make sure that the air cargo industry is ready to support the handling, transportation and distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Produced with the backing of various partners, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UK Civil Aviation Authority, World Bank, World Customs Organization (WCO) and World Trade Organization (WTO), IATA’s Guidance for Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Logistics and Distribution consists of myriad international standards and guidelines related to the transport of vaccines, being revised as frequently as information is made available.

The association, as reported by AviationPros, references several notable obstacles, including:

  • The availability of temperature-controlled storage facilities, including alternatives when these are not accessible.
  • Defining the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in vaccine distribution, such as government authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Industry readiness for vaccine distribution, which includes: capacity and connectivity; facilities and infrastructure (availability of the proper temperature-controlled facilities and equipment and staff trained to handle time- and temperature-sensitive vaccines); border management (receiving proper clearance and landing permits) and security.