United Airlines launched charter flights on Friday to relocate Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination shipments, ahead of a mass vaccination program expected to begin in late December, according to the report.
The flights are the first step in a global supply and distribution network that is set to become operational once the vaccine is approved by regulators.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given the airline a special permit to fly with increased amounts of dry ice to keep the vaccine cold.
Pfizer vaccination should be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius.
The specific leased routes were not reported by the Wall Street Journal, which reported news.
However, it was revealed that United intends to fly cargo flights between the Belgian capital, Brussels, and Chicago O’Hare Airport to support the distribution of the vaccine, according to a letter from the FAA on November 24, which was reviewed by the Journal.
Both Brussels and Chicago are convenient international airports for Pfizer’s factories in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Puurs, Belgium, where the final assembly of the vaccine will take place.
Chicago is also close to the Pfizer distribution site in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, which is being expanded to prepare for the introduction of the vaccine.
The company has another distribution site in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Pfizer also plans dozens of freight journeys and hundreds of truck journeys a day if approved by the authorities.
The Pfizer vaccine is reportedly being supplied by United Airlines and is ready for distribution
United Airlines has been licensed to fly larger quantities of dry ice for cooling
The FAA said in a statement on Friday that it supports “the first mass transport of vaccines by air” and will work safely to transport COVID-19 vaccines in partnership with airlines.
United has asked the FAA to allow it to carry more dry ice than is normally allowed on flights, with the goal of keeping the vaccine cool.
The FAA has said it will allow United to carry £ 15,000 of dry ice per flight, which is five times what is normally allowed – dry ice is routed on passenger aircraft as concerns arise about carbon leakage that cannot be detected in the air.
Pfizer has created suitcase-sized boxes that are packaged with dry ice to keep the vaccine dose cold, the paper says.
This means they can deliver the vaccine faster because there is no need for large temperature control containers.
The Pfizer vaccine should be stored at an incredibly low temperature in a facility similar to the one shown
Who will be the first to be vaccinated against the coronavirus?
- Healthcare workers will be the first in the line of vaccinations
- Those most vulnerable to targeted infection are of paramount importance: they include 12 million critical health, national security and essential workers
- 110 million people at high risk of coronavirus: This includes people over the age of 65 who live in long-term care facilities or people of any age who are in poor health or who are also indispensable workers
- Priority will also be given to those living where the epidemic is currently most severe
- Volunteers in the final phase of vaccination tests who receive false scans will receive reality after the injection is set up.
- The remaining 205 million other Americans will come later
The Pfizer vaccine, one of those currently under development, is giving hope to billions of people around the world.
In the United States, the FDA will meet in an emergency meeting on December 10, live, to discuss licensing the use of the vaccine.
On November 20, Pfizer requested an emergency application.
How much vaccine is available and when it is a moving target, but initial supplies will be scarce and proportionate.
Last week, Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, initially distributed 4.1 million doses, according to the U.S. government’s program to coordinate the distribution and administration of the drug.
Gustave Perna was able to retire this year: instead, he was given a huge and vital job
Pfizer performed the dry processes for each step, from vaccination to opening Pfizer’s GPS-traceable special containers to vaccination storage, Perna said.
The vaccination will be free for Americans. It was not clear whether those with a green card or a visa in the country were included.
There are debates about who pays. The federal government will cover a significant portion of the costs, but states say they need additional resources to cover the costs of monitoring and administering the vaccine.
Perna said they were aware that the 6.4 million doses were not enough to vaccinate even 20 million health workers in the country, not to mention the 330 million population in the United States.
But he said “continuous drumming” will deliver additional batches as production capacity increases each consecutive week.
About 25 million doses of Pfizer vaccine could become available in December, 30 million in January, and another 35 million in February and March, according to information presented to the National Academy of Medicine at the end of November.
Recipients will need two doses, three weeks apart.
The CDC will meet on Tuesday to decide on recommendations based on the data and known side effects that should be obtained first.
Healthcare workers and vulnerable populations, such as those living in nursing homes, are likely to receive first doses and then the elderly.
It is believed that the population will be vaccinated around April.