Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority granted an interim authorization on February 3 for the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to be used in Singapore for the prevention of Covid-19 in individuals aged 18 years and above
The first shipment of the vaccine arrived in Singapore on February 17 aboard a Singapore Airlines freighter
The delivery of the Moderna vaccines comes after SIA delivered the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to the country last December 21
SIA has made available cargo space on its flights and will accord uplift priority to Covid-19 vaccine shipments across the key vaccine trade lanes
While a Covid-19 vaccine deal remains an elusive dream for some of its neighboring countries, Singapore forges firmly ahead with its vaccination campaign to protect its citizens from the infectious disease.
The Singapore government announced on February 17, 2021 that the first shipment of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines has arrived in the city state on board a Singapore Airlines (SIA) freighter.
Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority granted an interim authorization on February 3, 2021 under the Pandemic Special Access Route for the Moderna vaccine to be used in Singapore for the prevention of Covid-19 in individuals aged 18 years and above, the government said in a release.
Singapore Airlines in a statement said it delivered the first shipment of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore on board one of its Boeing 747-400 freighters. The vaccines were carried on board SQ7137, a scheduled freighter service from Brussels, Belgium, and arrived in Singapore on February 17.
The vaccines were prioritized for loading into the aircraft in Brussels and were given to cold-chain facility SATS Coolport for subsequent storage and ground transportation.
Launched in 2010, SATS Coolport is Asia’s first on-airport perishable handling center. The facility located within Changi Airport is dedicated to the cold chain handling of perishable and pharmaceutical airfreight for import, export, and transshipment.
The delivery of the Moderna vaccines comes after SIA transported the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines for Singapore on December 21, 2020. This was also the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipment to be delivered to a country in Asia.
Chin Yau Seng, senior vice president for cargo of SIA, said, “We are glad to do our part in transporting Covid-19 vaccines in a secure, reliable and timely manner to support national vaccination programmes.”
He added: “Besides today’s delivery of Singapore’s first shipment of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, we have had the privilege of carrying shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines to Indonesia, over the past two months. We, together with our partners in the Singapore air hub and across the supply chain, will continue to support this important global effort aimed at taming this pandemic.”
Globally, several countries have tapped on SIA’s pharmaceutical capabilities in support of their vaccination programs, the national flag carrier airline said.
Earlier this month, on February 2, SIA transported a shipment of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines to Indonesia. The vaccines were carried on board a passenger aircraft from Singapore, where they were stored for 2.5 hours after arriving from Beijing, before departing for Jakarta on the same day.
On February 15, 2021, Singapore Airlines successfully delivered the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to both Australia and New Zealand via its Singapore hub.
Together with DHL Global Forwarding, SIA ensured the cargo was given priority loading. The vaccines were also monitored throughout their journey, including during their transit in Singapore, to ensure there were no disruptions to the cold chain requirements.
SIA said it has made available cargo space on its flights and will accord uplift priority to Covid-19 vaccine shipments across the key vaccine trade 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.