United Airlines begins charter flights to distribute COVID-19 vaccine as Pfizer readies for roll-out

By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- United Airlines on Friday began flying charter flights to position doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. for quick distribution, in anticipation of an expected approval by federal regulators, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing individuals familiar with the matter.

Pfizer has a manufacturing facility for the COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium.

United will fly chartered cargo flights between the Belgian capital of Brussels and Chicago O’Hare International Airport to aid in the the vaccination's distribution, according to a Nov. 24 letter from the Federal Aviation Administration viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Pfizer has a refrigerated storage site for the vaccine at its "final-assembly center" in Kalamazoo, Michigan. There is also expanding storage space capacity at a distribution site in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.

Pfizer declined to comment on United's role in the vaccine's distribution.

A United spokesperson said in a statement, "United Cargo established a COVID Readiness Task Team earlier this summer to help ensure we have the right people, products, services, and partnerships in place to support a vaccine distribution effort on a global scale."

The statement continued, "We have made a commitment to our pharmaceutical and medical customers that we are ready to safely and effectively support their vaccines transportation needs. The safety and security of these commodities is our priority and we are proud to be a trusted partner in these efforts."

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