India’s largest airport plans to start distributing COVID-19 vaccines in January with up to 5.4 million vials a day, its CEO said on Tuesday, underscoring the logistical challenge of reaching everyone in the country of 1.3 billion.
The Indian government is considering emergency use authorization for three vaccine candidates – one from AstraZeneca (AZN.L, another from Pfizer (PFE.N), and a separate one developed by the Indian firm Bharat Biotech.
“If we are able to rotate cargo twice a day, then 5.4 million (vials) can be distributed in a day,” Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said. Overall, the airport had the capacity to handle up to 8 million vials a day, he said.
India has the world’s second-highest number of cases after the United States — totaling over 10 million, with more than 146,000 deaths as of Tuesday.
The government said on Tuesday it would track down everyone arriving in recent weeks from Britain, where a more infectious strain of COVID-19 has been found, to try to prevent its spread.