Washington: United Airlines began operating charter flights on Friday with Pfizer’s vaccine against the coronavirus to prepare for quick distribution of doses if the shots are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FAA) and other regulators around the globe, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
According to the WSJ, Pfizer has been preparing to act quickly after the potential vaccine approval, and its distribution plan includes storage sites in Michigan and Belgium. The US pharmaceutical company is also planning to expand storage capacity at sites in Germany and Wisconsin.
The newspaper reported that dozens of cargo flights with vaccines, as well as hundreds of truck trips, are being carried out every day.
In particular, the WSJ reported, citing a November 24 letter from the US Federal Aviation Administration, that United Airlines plans to fly chartered cargo flights between Brussels and Chicago.
On Friday, the FAA said in a statement that it was backing the first mass air shipment of vaccines and was cooperating with airlines to ensuring the safety of transportation.
Earlier in the month, Pfizer announced that the vaccine it was developing with BioNTech had been tested to be 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, according to a preliminary analysis from the phase 3 clinical study. The company is waiting for emergency use authorization after subring a relevant request to the FDA last week.