Singapore received its first consignment of modern COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, two weeks after authorities approved its use to contain the Kovid-19 pandemic.
The vaccines were put on Singapore Airlines flight SQ7137, a scheduled cargo service from Brussels, and arrived in Singapore at 1.40 pm Indian time.
It is the second vaccine approved for use in Singapore, which received the first consignment of Pfizer-BioNtech’s COVID-19 vaccine on 21 December.
“Vaccines were preferred for loading into aircraft in Brussels and were cited as an example during landing in Singapore.” Channel News Asia on Wednesday quoted a statement from Singapore Airlines as stating that they were later moved to SATS’s cold-chain facility, Coolport, for storage and ground transportation.
The Health Sciences Authority granted interim authorization on 3 February for the Modern’s COVID-19 vaccine to be used in Singapore on people 18 and older.
Singapore Airport Terminal Services explained its role in the vaccine handling process, stating that once shipments arrive at the airport, temperature-controlled cargo containers will be unloaded to cool the docks, which have temperature logger and location tracking features.
The containers are then brought into the ‘monolithic cold chain’ at Coolport. In Coolport, individual checks are performed before containers are stored in a cold room with the required temperature range. They will then be moved through dedicated temperature-controlled truck docks for delivery by agents or freight forwarders.
Modern and Pfizer vaccines have to be stored at very low temperatures because they are made up of easily perishable genetic material known as mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid).
The report states that the modern vaccine can be kept at -20 ° C and stays in the fridge for 30 days, while the Pfizer vaccine is stored at -70 ° C and only five days at standard fridge temperature lives.