Pfizer ships COVID-19 vaccine from Belgium to the U.S.
Pfizer ships COVID-19 vaccine from Belgium to the U.S. According to Fox News, United Airlines Holdings (United Airlines) began opening charter flights last Friday to expand the national distribution capacity of the COVID-19 pneumonia vaccine developed by Pfizer.
The report pointed out that United Airlines will open charter flights between Brussels International Airport in Belgium and Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and the first batch of vaccines have been shipped from the Belgian factory to the United States. Pfizer’s vaccines need to be transported and stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the FAA allows United Airlines to carry 15,000 pounds of dry ice per flight, which is five times the previous dry ice transportation restrictions.
Pfizer is also cooperating with other cargo and passenger airlines to prepare for the domestic delivery of vaccines. Once approved by the FDA and other regulatory agencies, it will provide rapid delivery of vaccines. At present, Pfizer has expanded storage capacity in specific distribution points in Pleasant Meadows, Wisconsin and Karlsruhe, Germany, and plans to equip cargo planes and trucks with suitcase-sized freezers to distribute vaccines around the world.
Pfizer put forward specific requirements for vaccine shipment in a recent webinar with state health officials:
Once the inoculation point has received the shipping box, dry ice should be replenished within 24 hours. If it is not used up within five days, dry ice should be added again. The clinic staff must move quickly when taking out the vaccine-the box can only be opened twice a day, each time not exceeding one minute. During the use of the vaccine, the nurse needs to dilute the vaccine and divide a vial into 5 doses. Each dose must be injected within 6 hours, otherwise it will be thrown away. This is the first time, everyone needs to follow the same procedure for the second injection in three weeks.
Andrew Peterson, associate professor at George Mason University, pointed out that if Pfizer’s vaccine proves to be effective, then vaccine distribution logistics will be a very difficult task. On the one hand, Pfizer needs to deliver vaccines to distribution centers in the United States and internationally by air and land transportation. On the other hand, it also needs to ensure that the cold chain of minus 70 degrees is maintained during the delivery process. In addition, other issues such as the theft of vaccine products are not easy to ignore.