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Military planes to fly Covid vaccines in to Britain to avoid ports hit by Brexit

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Military planes to fly Covid vaccines in to Britain to avoid ports hit by Brexit

Old 6th Dec 2020, 14:50
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Military planes to fly Covid vaccines in to Britain to avoid ports hit by Brexit

In The Guardian/Observer today.
Military planes to fly Covid vaccines in to Britain to avoid ports hit by Brexit.

Tens of millions of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured in Belgium will be flown to Britain by military aircraft to avoid delays at ports caused by Brexit, under contingency plans being developed by the government.

Both the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and senior sources at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed to the Observer on Saturday that large consignments would be brought in from 1 January by air if road, rail and sea routes were subject to widely expected delays after that date.

Civil servants from the MoD and military planning staff have recently met officials from the government’s vaccine taskforce to discuss the plans, with priority being given to speedy transfer of the doses. “We will do this if necessary. The plans have been discussed,” said a DHSC source.

The move shows that ministers are ready for severe disruptions at ports and commercial airports whether or not there is a Brexit deal, and are not prepared to allow the vaccine to be held up in any circumstances.
Do we have any refrigerated aircraft?
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 15:20
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Like his English: 3rdpara, 1st line " ...recently MET officials..." not "met with " nor HORROR "met UP WITH ." Well done, Sir or Madam.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 15:24
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The Lightning was pretty cool.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 15:36
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Climb sharpish to height, open the windows ...........
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 16:34
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Dont need anything clever. The packs last 15 days if unopened. Even with my navigation skills that isnt a challenge.

Once in the UK the vaccine should be distributed overnight and even when removed from the packs it is stable in an ordinary fridge for 5 days. The 50 hub hospitals can feed the 185 NHS hospitals each of whom should be able to vaccinate 100 people an hour. So we can consume 148,000 vials a day with no special transportation and ship over up to 15 days worth or 22 million at a time. Of course Pfizer will almost certainly release the vials in batches to avoid delay

The cold storage will be an issue for Africa and other countries with great distances and poor electricity supplies. Not for the UK, Europe or the US. The issue in the UK is that the vaccine is still sitting in a 'secret location' unused while 500 people a day are dying and 15,000 a day are getting infected.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 16:34
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Originally Posted by Lyneham Lad View Post
In The Guardian/Observer today.
Military planes to fly Covid vaccines in to Britain to avoid ports hit by Brexit.



Do we have any refrigerated aircraft?
We certainly have some cool military aircraft, not sure that’s the right answer though.

If the vaccine needs to be kept cool in transit, I guess refrigerated trailers will be faster, easier to put in C17/A400’s in a roll on /roll off type operation. Can you get a typical 40ft road trailer in a C130?
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 17:22
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Won't have to worry about any restrictions on carriage of dry ice if required either.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 18:26
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Just remember - if it wasn't for Brexit, the vaccine wouldn't yet be approved for use in the UK. You'd still be waiting for the EU bureaucrats to decide...
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 18:43
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Not true about Brexit

Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Just remember - if it wasn't for Brexit, the vaccine wouldn't yet be approved for use in the UK. You'd still be waiting for the EU bureaucrats to decide...
Probably more in this link than you are willing to read, but it gives chapter and verse on why your statement is not true.

https://www.instituteforgovernment.o...cisions-brexit
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 18:50
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
Just remember - if it wasn't for Brexit, the vaccine wouldn't yet be approved for use in the UK. You'd still be waiting for the EU bureaucrats to decide...
That is not the case, honestly.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/55163730
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 19:14
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So rather than contract the work to an aviation industry crippled by COVID-19, this abysmal apology for a government wants to bypass the problems caused by its own EU exit lunacy by using military flights....

Quite ridiculous - but at least the vaccine should now arrive OK.

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Old 6th Dec 2020, 19:18
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Any EU member State’s own approval agency can act independently. There’s a lot of misunderstanding in this area, but a conversation for another thread.

This German / US vaccine is just the first. Hopefully there’ll be another 4 or 5 in short order.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 19:20
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Why the military? There are dozens, if not hundreds, of airliners and airlines available. Aren’t there?
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 20:11
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Made in EU vaccine, transported by military aircraft because ports are clogged up by Brexit.................... sounds like a Christmas Pantomime.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 20:16
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Originally Posted by UV View Post
Why the military? There are dozens, if not hundreds, of airliners and airlines available. Aren’t there?
There are temperature requirements for this specific vaccine that would be better accommodated by military aircraft. As mentioned above, potentially you can just put the refrigerated trailer on the aircraft. For civilian aircraft you would need specialist temp controlled cargo pods, which are very expensive and there's just not enough of then out there to meet the demand globally. Or you could maybe use several tonnes of dry ice, which is risky. This is about logistics. The requirements of the Pfizer vaccine are better met by Western nations that can store it at -80c. The J&J vaccine will be fine at room temperature so that's better suited to less developed regions and civilian aircraft.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 20:42
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This is what we - DHL - do every day, everywhere. It’s a challenge but it’s doable. Also every other big logistics company worldwide. FedEx, UPS etc. There’s a CNN interview with CEO DHL Express online (incompetent IT person, can’t do a link). Do not underestimate the scale of worldwide air freight.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 21:14
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Originally Posted by deltahotel View Post
This is what we - DHL - do every day, everywhere. It’s a challenge but it’s doable. Also every other big logistics company worldwide. FedEx, UPS etc. There’s a CNN interview with CEO DHL Express online (incompetent IT person, can’t do a link). Do not underestimate the scale of worldwide air freight.
I don’t disagree with you but the freight operators are not short of work right now. Half the Antonov fleet being grounded doesn’t help as regards short notice heavy-lift charters. I was more talking about belly loading on passenger aircraft, not dedicated freighters. And again, getting enough pods capable of keeping billions of vaccines at minus 80c is an issue.
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Old 6th Dec 2020, 22:37
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Given the temperature restrictions, surely transport by lorry/ship is problematic compared with by air: so the ports clogged by Brexit line is nonsense then?

And as already asked, why are we using military aircraft when so many commercial airliners are crying out for business?
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Old 7th Dec 2020, 07:05
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In the governments defence they big brained this problem of lorry tailbacks for incoming frieght buy almost completely stopping customs and immigration checks at the UK border. Trucks will only be searched at random and rest waved through to avoid queue's. Outgoing into the EU is going to be the tail backs apparently
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Old 7th Dec 2020, 07:12
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Originally Posted by ShotOne View Post
Given the temperature restrictions, surely transport by lorry/ship is problematic compared with by air: so the ports clogged by Brexit line is nonsense then?

And as already asked, why are we using military aircraft when so many commercial airliners are crying out for business?
This is apolitical, but, for some time now there have been consistent reports as to the backlog and delays at UK ports, Felixstowe in particular.

As for using commercial air transport, well quite reasonably, they would expect to be remunerated. Unfortunately, Riki, having spent a not inconsiderable amount of revenue now finds it time to start recouping this.......... one way or another ( see not actually mentioning a reduction in funding of £1bn for the railways for example ) and as military aircraft are, on one sense "free ", then their use would be an incentive to utilise them,
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