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DGCA Issues Guidelines To Airlines For Transportation Of COVID Vaccine

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New Delhi: India’s civil aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Friday issued guidelines to airlines and other aircraft operators for transportation of COVID-19 vaccines.
“All scheduled operators who have been currently authorized to carry dangerous goods may carry COVID19 vaccine packed in dry ice, meeting the regulatory requirements,” DGCA said in a circular, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
“Non-scheduled operators, including aircraft engaged in general aviation, that are required to participate in the carriage of COVID-19 vaccines packed in dry ice shall seek specific approval before commencing such operations,” it added.
COVID-19 vaccination in India is expected to start in the next few days, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday, adding that the union government has requested the stakeholders in the process to help in its smooth rollout.
Indian airlines, including Air India, are currently working with vaccine manufacturers for distribution, a senior civil aviation ministry official had said.
The circular added that operators will need to prepare and ‘Dos and ‘Don’ts’ guidance for handling of vaccines and such packages would be handled only by trained personnel.
As things stand, India’s drugs regulator Drugs Controller General of India has approved AstraZeneca and Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute in India under Covishield brand and the indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

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