The National government has a defined objective in health matters: bring to Argentina as many vaccines as possible. The more doses there are, the more volume the vaccination plan can take in a short time. That longing confronts reality.
So far only 1,220,000 doses have arrived in the country. All were developed by the Gamaleya Center: la Sputnik V. But Russia had promised to send 20 million between December and February, and that promise was not kept.
This Wednesday they will arrive 580 thousand from India and made by Astrazeneca. The total, then, will be 1,780,000 doses.
Since the vaccination operation began, Argentina never brought more than 580 thousand doses in a single flight. There were 300,000 in December, a container of 300,000 and another of 420,000 in January, and 400,000 in February.
Today the 580 thousand of Astrazeneca are added. The hold of the Aerolineas Argentinas plane destined to travel to Russia can bring up to a maximum of 600 thousand doses. However, the full quota never had to be used.
In the Casa Rosada they hope to have more doses of Sputnik V in the next two months and also that those from the Astrazeneca laboratory will begin to arrive more frequently.
Between both contracts, Argentina adds a total of 52,431,000 doses that should be delivered between February and July. It is in this context that the flag airline began to condition a fleet aircraft to be able to bring up to one million doses.
In the new renovation that they made to the plane, 127 seats were removed from the center row
The Government is preparing to be able to bring in the largest number of doses in the shortest possible time. There is no certain travel plan that can be consistent over time, basically because there are no details on when the laboratories will be able to provide the vaccines.
Russia sends droppers and Astrazeneca promised to send 580,000 more doses in March.
Regarding the reform, it consists of freeing the cabin, where passengers travel on a normal flight, and removing most of the seats. This modification will allow them to load 400 thousand more doses and thus reach one million on the same flight.
By the time Russia, as Argentina’s main supplier, manages to produce on a larger scale, Argentina will have a plane available to bring up to a million vaccines.
The reforms, which began to be carried out just over a week and should be ready by the last days of February, are being carried out about the Airbus that at the beginning of the pandemic traveled to China to look for medical supplies, masks and suits to protect the doctors.
He made 35 trips to Shanghai and 7 to Guangzhou. It is on that same aircraft that the modifications are being made.
The Aerolineas Argentinas aircraft that was refurbished will be able to bring, between the hold and the cabin, up to one million doses.
That plane had 10 rows removed from the center because no more space was needed than that to bring supplies. But now the reform is being deepened and a total of 127 seats will be removed from the central strip. In addition, hooks and containers will be put on to secure the containers where the vaccines are packed.
Aeronautical sources explained to Globe Live Media that afterwards the amount of vaccines they can carry is dependent on the way they are wrapped and the size they are. That is, the loads are made based on the volume of the packages, not on the quantities of doses, and therefore the number can
Airlines have already made technical inquiries to Airbus, which is the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer, to make all the modifications.
You will then need a final approval from the National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC), which must approve the reforms that were carried out. The plane would be reconfigured with freighter mode.
The parts on the plane were made in 2020 during the start of the pandemic and were made to search for medical supplies in China
The Airbus 330 fleet that Aerolineas Argentinas has is made up of 10 aircraft, which are destined to cover international destinations.
Two of those ten are dedicated to the task of bringing vaccines to the country, but since there was not much demand, they are always working with the same plane. In other words, the four flights to Russia were with the same airliner.
The plane with LV-GIF registration is on which modifications are being made and that soon will be available so that the Government can use it in order to bring more doses in a short time.
It is part of the logistics plan to improve the supply of vaccines. The first link in the chain to give volume to the vaccination plan designed by Ginés Gonzáles García and his team.
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