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Bengaluru airport well-equipped to handle storage of COVID-19 vaccines, says BIAL

BIAL also said it processed 34,339 metric tonnes (mt) of cargo in October, recording a 26-month high in tonnage.

November 26, 2020 / 08:55 AM IST
Representative Image (Image: Reuters)

Representative Image (Image: Reuters)

Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) on November 25 said it is prepared to handle storage of COVID-19 vaccines.

Satyaki Raghunath, the chief strategy and development officer at BIAL, said the Kempegowda International Airport has cold storage facilities with temperatures as low as -15 degree celsius, according to a Mint report.

Raghunath also noted that experimental vaccines against the novel coronavirus have different storage temperatures and are at various stages of trials.

Also Read: COVID-19 vaccination plan: From identifying at-risk population and essential workers by states to ramping up capacity

"So till we get to know which vaccine it is premature to comment on it. But from our perspective we have very good cold storage facilities where we can go all the way till -15 degree celsius," Raghunath said as quoted by the paper.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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BIAL also said it processed 34,339 metric tonnes (mt) of cargo in October, recording a 26-month high in tonnage, the report said.

As some vaccine candidates enter the last stage of clinical trials, the government and airports are making preparations for storage, transportation and distribution.

The Centre is planning to set up air freight stations (AFS) to enable direct movement of vaccines from pharmaceutical factories to the aircraft, according to a Business Standard report.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Nov 26, 2020 08:55 am

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