Brussels Airport has been running mock tests this week to showcase their readiness to distribute COVID-19 vaccines once they’re available,
The European Union (EU) is running rapid vaccine regulatory processes. The EU drugs regulator, the European Medicines Agency, said it could give conditional marketing approval for Pfizer’s vaccine by Dec. 29 and make a decision on Moderna’s by Jan. 12.
In the European Union, it is up to each country in the 27-member bloc to start distributing vaccines to their populations.
Speaking on the sidelines of a presentation organized on Tuesday (December 1) for journalists, Air Cargo Belgium director Geert Keirens said Brussels Airport’s was ‘ready to handle all the vaccines’ once they will be available, adding they had been ‘preparing for this for months but also for years.’
The head of the airport’s cargo division, Nathan De Valck said the main challenges linked to the transport and storage of vaccines were to maintain low temperatures ‘throughout the whole supply chain’ with some vaccines requiring to be stored with dry ice at temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius or below.
Keirens said Brussels Airport’s ‘30,000 square meters of cooling facilities’ made it the ‘hugest concentration of refrigerators at an airport in Europe.’
Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have already started manufacturing their vaccines, and a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine partially produced in the Belgian town of Puurs will be rolled out from early next week in Britain.