SINGAPORE: Singapore obtained its first cargo of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday (Feb 17), two weeks after authorities accepted it to be used right here.

The vaccines have been carried on board Singapore Airways (SIA) flight SQ7137, a scheduled freighter service from Brussels, Belgium, and arrived in Singapore at about 1.40pm.

“The vaccines were prioritised for loading into the aircraft in Brussels and was given precedence during unloading in Singapore. They were then transported to SATS’ cold-chain facility, Coolport, for subsequent storage and ground transportation,” SIA mentioned on Wednesday.

It was introduced on Feb 3 that the Well being Sciences Authority has granted interim authorisation for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in Singapore for folks aged 18 years and above.

That is the second vaccine accepted to be used in Singapore.

SIA had on Dec 21 delivered the first cargo of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to Singapore.

Schooling Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry process drive, mentioned on Fb that one other batch of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine arrived in Singapore on Wednesday morning.

“More vaccines from both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech will arrive over the course of the year,” he added. 

“We will continue to monitor our supplies closely, to meet our target of vaccinating all Singaporeans and long-term residents by the end of this year.”

COLD CHAIN

Explaining its function within the vaccine dealing with course of, SATS mentioned as soon as the cargo arrives on the airport, the temperature-controlled cargo containers can be unloaded to chill dollies, which have temperature loggers and site monitoring options.

The containers are then delivered to Coolport in an “unbroken cold chain”, it added.

READ: How COVID-19 vaccines are transported to Singapore and saved right here

At Coolport, particular person checks are carried out earlier than the containers are saved in chilly rooms with the required temperature vary.

They are going to then be transferred through devoted temperature-controlled truck docks for supply by brokers or freight forwarders.

The first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Singapore on Feb 17, 2021 (4)
The primary cargo of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines being unloaded from a Singapore Airways flight on Feb 17, 2021. (Picture: Ministry of Communications and Data)

The vaccines – each Moderna’s and Pfizer’s – must be saved at very low temperatures as a result of they’re constituted of simply destroyed genetic materials known as mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid).

Moderna’s vaccine might be saved at -20 levels Celsius and lasts in a fridge for 30 days, whereas Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be saved at -70 levels Celsius and lasts for less than 5 days at commonplace fridge temperatures.

DELIVERING VACCINES TO OTHER COUNTRIES

SIA has additionally delivered COVID-19 vaccines to different international locations.

The airline transported a cargo of Sinovac’s vaccine to Indonesia on Feb 2 utilizing a passenger plane from Singapore, the place it was saved for two.5 hours after arriving from Beijing.

On Feb 15, SIA delivered a batch of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine to Australia and New Zealand through its Singapore hub.

READ: Price range 2021 – Aviation sector to get S$870 million in assist this yr

“Singapore’s geographical location, coupled with SIA’s extensive network connectivity and the strong pharmaceutical handling capabilities at Singapore Changi airport, positions it well as a key transit hub for the for the transportation and distribution of pharmaceuticals,” mentioned SIA.

The airline mentioned it has made obtainable cargo area on its flights and can “accord uplift priority” to COVID-19 vaccine shipments throughout the important thing vaccine commerce lanes.

“This means readying the airline’s seven Boeing 747-400 freighters, as well as the airline’s passenger aircraft fleet which will be deployed on cargo operations to increase the capacity for vaccine transportation where needed,” SIA added.

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