United Airlines have already begun operating charter flights to position doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine across distribution hubs in the United States.
The chartered flights between Brussels and Chicago reportedly began on Friday, the Wall Street Journal said. However, it is unclear how many doses were on board.
As reported by the WSJ, the FAA has approved the airline to carry 15,000 pounds of dry ice per flight, which is five times the normal limit. The Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at a very low temperature.
On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that it is collaborating with carriers to safely transport these vaccines. As reported by CNN, the FAA said:
“As a result of the historic pace of vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed and careful logistics planning, the FAA today is supporting the first mass air shipment of a vaccine.”
“In addition to mitigating safety risks related to the safe transport of vaccines, the FAA is ensuring around-the-clock air traffic services to keep air cargo moving and prioritizing flights carrying cargo, such as vaccines, and personnel critical to the nation’s response to and recovery from Covid-19.”