The US airline United Airlines began operating on Friday charter flights with vaccines against COVID-19 developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, in order to accelerate its distribution if the product receives approval from the health authorities, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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The newspaper, which cites anonymous sources familiar with the program, notes that United has obtained the go-ahead from air regulators to carry more dry ice on board than is normally allowed, a product that is used to keep vaccines down. temperatures they require.
United’s plan is to charter flights between Brussels and Chicago (USA) airports to support vaccine distribution from Pfizer, which has its main vaccine preparation centers in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. ) and in Puurs (Belgium).
The US pharmaceutical and its German partner BioNTech requested an emergency authorization from the US drug regulator (FDA) a week ago to begin distributing its vaccine against covid-19, which has shown up to 95% efficacy in clinical trials preliminaries.
The expectation is that the product is approved as a priority and can be supplied to the population at risk from December. Pfizer and BioNTech are working in parallel to advance the vaccine approval processes with regulators in Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union and hope to be able to manufacture 50 million doses worldwide in the remainder of the year and 1.3 billion more doses in all of 2021.
The vaccine is the most advanced in its testing and approval process, although not the only one, as there are others such as the one developed by Moderna biotechnology or that of AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford that are very close.