United Airlines has already began operating charter flights on Friday to better position Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for distribution as soon as it gets the approved of the Food and Drug Administration.
United will fly the chartered planes between Brussels International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport as part of the “first mass air shipment of a vaccine,” supported by the FAA.
Earlier, Pfizer started to lay the foundation to move the vaccine quickly once the FDA and other regulators approve it.
Reports said Pfizer has expanded storage capacity at specific distribution sites in Pleasant Prairie, Wisc., and Karlsruhe, Germany. The company said it will use suitcase-size frozen storage in cargo planes and trucks to distribute the vaccine around the world.
Since the Pfizer vaccine requires cold storage, United Airlines will be allowed to carry five times the amount of dry ice normally permitted on board to keep the vaccine at temperature. The shots must be stored at temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius or below.
“The logistics of distributing the Pfizer vaccine, if proven to be safe and effective, will no doubt be a Herculean task,” Peterson told Fox News.
“Beyond the challenge of physically transporting the vaccine by air and land to distribution centers across America and internationally, there are the additional obstacles of keeping the vaccine at sub-zero temperatures and monitoring deliveries for theft.”