U.S. starts mass air shipment of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

Henrietta Strickland
November 28, 2020

United Airlines Holdings Inc. on Friday began operating charter flights to position doses of Pfizer Inc.'s Covid-19 vaccine for quick distribution if the shots are approved by regulators, according to people familiar with the matter.

The routes being flown were not specified by the Wall Street Journal, which reported the news.

"The FAA said it would allow United to carry 15,000 pounds of dry ice per flight-five times more than normally permitted", the Journal reported.

It added that New York-based Pfizer has designed suitcase-size boxes for dry ice to keep the vaccine cold instead of the more common larger, temperature-controlled containers to offer more flexibility and speed in distribution.

High-risk groups such as frontliners and senior citizens, who will be among the first in the country to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, must not be considered as "laboratory rats", Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin said yesterday. The distribution plan includes expanding storage capacity in Germany, and "dozens of cargo flights and hundreds of truck trips".

Pfizer announced on November 9, six days after the USA presidential election, that trial results showed its vaccine had a 90% effective rate.

FDA's scientific advisers are holding a public meeting December 10 to review Pfizer's request, and send a recommendation to the FDA.

Part of the company's distribution plan will include existing and additional refrigerated storage sites across the USA and Europe. I have never heard such nonsense about the vaccine.

"After undergoing clinical trials, all data obtained will be evaluated by worldwide bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)", he said.

A United spokesperson told The Hill in a statement on Friday that the vaccine rollout was being handled by United Cargo, which established a COVID Readiness Task Team earlier this year "to help ensure we have the right people, products, services, and partnerships in place to support a vaccine distribution effort on a global scale". FedEx Corp. and DHL International GmBH have introduced temperature-monitoring systems to track future vaccine shipments.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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