Watch: How Is Delhi Airport Preparing to Handle COVID-19 Vaccine?

The Quint takes you to Delhi Airport – India’s largest cargo hub – to show how it is gearing up for the big task.

2 min read

Video Producer: Mythreyee Ramesh
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

As India gears up for a massive vaccination drive against the novel COVID-19, there are multiple questions about the logistics involved, including transportation and storage of vaccines which will determine their efficacy.

All eyes are now on airports across the country which will play a crucial role in the handling and distribution of the vaccines. So, how exactly are they preparing? Do they have the required infrastructure?

The Quint takes you to the Delhi Airport – India's largest cargo hub – to show how it is gearing up for the big task.


Does the cargo terminal have the capability to handle large cargo?

  • The cargo terminal has the capacity to handle 1.5 lakh million ton of cargo per annum
  • The terminals are planning to function 24*7 to ensure uninterrupted supply of vaccine

How is the airport planning to handle the temperature requirements for vaccine?

  • Both of Delhi's cargo terminals have installed temperature-controlled zones and cool chambers ranging from +25 degree Celsius to -20 degree Celsius
  • Multiple charging points have been fitted at the terminals to handle temperature-controlled containers
  • 'Cool Dollies' are ready to ensure that temperature remains unbroken as the vaccines move from terminal to aircraft and vice-versa

How will the airport ensure fast movement of vaccines in and out of the airport?

  • QR code-based e-pass will to be used for faster movement of vaccines from the airport, cutting down on paperwork and reducing human interface
  • Dedicated gates will ensure express movement of vehicles carrying COVID-19 vaccines in and out of the airport
  • Delhi airport will also serve as a transshipment hub to connect vaccines to other regions of the world

What is a transshipment hub?

Transshipment is the shipment of goods or containers – in this case, vaccine – to an intermediate destination, then to another destination. The Delhi airport is likely to be an intermediate destination for vaccine, not just for India but also other regions of the world.

Does this mean India can handle Pfizer vaccine?

There is no clarity on this. Questions though remain on India’s capacity to maintain cold-chain for Pfizer and BioNtech’s COVID vaccine that demands a temperature control of -70 degree Celsius. Watch this space for more updates.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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