FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

United Airlines Flying Coronavirus Vaccines for Quick Distribution

by Kimberly Krol Inlander

Dec 2, 2020
eFlyer Lead

In anticipation of an emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks, Pfizer entrusted United Airlines to transport the first doses of its vaccine to the United States. First reported by the Wall Street Journal, a chartered Boeing 777-200 aircraft filled with vaccines first flew last Friday from Brussels, Belgium, to Chicago, with the entire aircraft dedicated to the Pfizer transport. A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday said it was, “supporting the first mass air shipment of a vaccine” and it worked with airlines to safely transport the vaccine.

According to Business Insider, United implemented a vaccine task force earlier this year and crafted procedures for transporting each vaccine, long before Pfizer and Moderna were the leading contenders. Pfizer’s vaccine must be transported at a below-freezing storage temperature of -94-degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, drugs are packed with dry ice, which is classified as a dangerous good in aviation as it sublimates from a solid to gaseous carbon dioxide and can incapacitate crew and passengers. In the current environment, carriers requested exemptions to the limits of how much dry ice can be flown on cargo and passenger planes.

The Wall Street Journal reported United is now allowed to fly up to 15,000 pounds of dry ice, five times the previous limit. Most major airlines with pharmaceutical-carrying capabilities are gearing up to potentially transport the vaccines. Now in the United States, Pfizer will rely on trucks for regional transportation of the vaccine until the FDA approves its use.

Are you planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it’s available? Are you more likely to select a carrier based on its willingness to help in the current situation? Tell us about it. Email us at [email protected]. Please include your full name and location.

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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