The arrival of vaccines against the coronavirus is becoming clearer and Belgium is preparing for it. It is no longer just a challenge in terms of quantity (tens of millions of doses are expected worldwide). But it is above all a logistical challenge, because these vaccines are unstable and lose their effectiveness at room temperature. Some vaccines must be stored at -70 ° or -80 °. We therefore need deep freezers which pharmacies, doctors, and sometimes even hospitals do not have. Not to mention the transport in suitable refrigerated containers. These vaccines will pass through Brussels airport. And that requires a rigorous procedure.
Using solid carbon dioxide to keep the temperature very low
In order to keep the vaccine in temperatures below 70 degrees Celsius, Brussels airport has already planned its mode of transport. This will be done using dry ice. “ Ice at -79 degrees keeps the vaccine during transport at this temperature, and we have a device that monitors the temperature.“, explains Christophe Sacré, chief operator of Air Cargo Belgium.
Consider all scenarios
In order to maintain the cold chain in all circumstances, it was necessary to consider all cases. For example, a sort of professional fridge box has been provided in the event that certain vaccines must be stored between 2 and 8 degrees. But Koen Gouweloose, the managing director of Swissport recalls that this is not the first time that vaccines have passed through Brussels airport.
“This is not the first time that vaccines have been transported, we did so during the Ebola epidemic in Africa for example. We have experience.“